When I read a good Book I put it down and wonder about where all that came from. I find myself looking for the one who wrote it – stimulated and curious, on fire to know what the book’s author had to say about it, or see if by any chance they wrote other books, which might shine more light on a topic, or a theme, or a truth that their first book touched on. More of that thing that I recognized about myself in their work in the first place. I wonder how they might have developed these ideas over time, in their own human experience. What things remained consistent? What general idea changed or evolved with time? What fell away? If the author is dead, well then I’ll go through a sort of exhumation: finding out about the shape of the world during his or her time period. Finding out what the critics, their contemporaries said of them. What do those who later studied their writing say about them and about their work? And why? Well, if you ever want to turn a good book into an adventure through time and space, that’s how you do it. That’s why.
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