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The freedom of deliberate reading

“Books and reading, I believe, have to be understood and taught as a distinctive, embodied meditative tradition; as a rhetorically constructed deliberative verbal ordering of the world; and as a social practice through which the liberal ideal of a mutual human accountability was formulated and partially enacted. Reading as an embodied rhetorical verbal interchange and as a deliberative tradition has to be cultivated apart from the passive cognitive reception of administered entertainments and the sensationalist, discontinuous, permanent immediacy of consumer culture. The presence created by reading within book culture‚Äôs tradition of literacy must be distinguished from the immediacy created by reading that is controlled by the contemporary cyber-logic of the electronic image. The presence of reading must be distinguished formally from the immediacy of the electronic image. Print literacy as an embodied rhetorical form of cognitive and deliberative agency has to be enacted apart from a consumerist reception of information, opinion, sensation, and stimulation.” — Peter Dimock, “The Presence of Reading, Part II”

Published inEconomicsLit & CritPolitics & Law

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