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Old 06-15-2008, 01:42 PM   #1
vivaldirules
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Allison, Young E.: The Delicious Vice, v.1, 15 June 2008

A paragraph from this book which is apparently an expansion of his 1897 lecture which I posted yesterday:
"After the first novel has been read, somewhere under the seasoned age of fourteen years, the beginner equipped with inherent genius for novel reading is afloat upon an open sea of literature, a master mariner of his own craft, having ports to make, to leave, to take, so splendid of variety and wonder as to make the voyages of Sinbad sing small by comparison. It may be proper and even a duty here to suggest to the young novel reader that the Ten Commandments and all governmental statutes authorize the instant killing, without pity or remorse, of any heavy-headed and intrusive person who presumes to map out for him a symmetrical and well-digested course of novel reading. The murder of such folks is universally excused as self-defense and secretly applauded as a public service. The born novel reader needs no guide, counsellor or friend. He is his own "master." He can with perfect safety and indescribable delight shut his eyes, reach out his hand, pull down any plum of a book and never make a mistake. Novel reading is the only one of the splendid occupations of life calling for no instruction or advice. All that is necessary is to bite the apple with the largest freedom possible to the intellectual and imaginative jaws, and let the taste of it squander itself all the way down from the front teeth until it is lost in the digestive joys of memory. There is no miserable quail limit to novels-you can read thirty novels in thirty days or 365 novels in 365 days for thirty years, and the last one will always have the delicious taste of the pies of childhood."
And there are other parts:
"There are no women novel-readers. There are women who read novels, of course; but it is a far cry from reading novels to being a novel-reader. It is not in the nature of a woman."
I prefer to think that this opinion is largely based on common prejudices of the time and the author's perception of the social duties of "the average woman" of the time and not a perceived inherent flaw or malady of women.

An enjoyable read.
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