Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Amos Oz: Read foreign novels!


If you are a mere tourist, you might stand on a street and look up at an old house, in the old part of town, and see a woman staring out of her window. Then you will walk on.

But if you are a reader, you can see that woman staring out of her window, but you are there with her, inside her room, inside her head.

As you read a foreign novel, you are actually invited into other people's living rooms, into their nurseries and studies, into their bedrooms. You are invited into their secret sorrows, into their family joys, into their dreams.

More here. Thanks to Uma for the link.

2 Comments:

  1. FĂ«anor said...

    I guess this is true if one can read that foreign language fluently. If one doesn't, and has to read a translation, one might find oneself in the position of hearing the story from a friend who was invited into other people's living rooms, into their nurseries and studies, into their bedrooms. The translator as intermediary shows one particular view point and sensibility. E.g. check out this countercriticism of a criticism by Khushwant Singh. What do you think?

  2. Pipa said...

    So recently I watched Yi Yi: A One and a Two, a movie set in Taiwan and enjoyed it.

    one reviewer had said if this was set in Clevland, OH would you have liked it as much?

    Well, no.

    People are differnt, cultures are different and that is what makes "foreign" literature interesting.

    But that was the point -- that for 3 hours I was invited into a Taiwanese apartment which I would have never have had a chance to go into otherwise.