In French one observes the link between to read (“lire”) and to bind (“lier”). Spellbinding. Leads one to ponder the etymology of “read”. And of course how one’s experience with the act of reading may be conditioned by one’s participation in a given linguistic community. Take the German expression for to learn by heart “auswendig lernen”. It is about uttering whereas growing up with the French equivalent “apprendre par coeur” was to store near one’s heart — very much an ingathering exercise. And the German is closer to the Latin “ediscere” where learning (discere) and saying (dicere) are close. And there is Brian Stock’s book that deals in part with forms of subjectivity fostered by the advent of silent reading (Augustine the Reader: Meditation, Self-Knowledge and the Ethics of Interpretation).
And I come to wonder how reading aloud is connected to speaking about. Are these transferable skills? A great actor may give a great reading but is it a great interpretation? Some languages have “interprétation” for both reading aloud and interpretation. “Lecture” (reading) is a usually solitary act which may lead to a “conférence” (a lecture).
Now I am thinking of the role of audience and how the presence of the other whether virtual (in the echo chamber of our mind) or actual in the reading group or seminar breaks the bindings and sets us free — as if reading were a type of willing enslavement, a disciplinary passage to freedom. And Wikipedia offers this piece of information about voluntary slavery:
In ancient times one of the most direct ways to become a Roman or Greek citizen was by means of a self-sale contract. For the laws surrounding Roman and Greek manumission made it quite possible for such erstwhile slaves to then become citizens or near-citizens themselves. See Citation Note 3.
Every binding is broken. Not breakable. But broken. In the mindset of manumission we come to the act of reading as menders. The book as broken object in need of repair. And ironically the only way to repair the binding spell is by unwinding the bound. But if the book is not a codex how do we apply our metaphorics? The game becomes one of intersecting at the boundaries, keeping the play in bounds. That is in the circle of awareness, within the attention. Or caching. Through one’s heart towards that of a future reader.
And so for day 977