How would you describe the feeling of reading a form of writing in solitude?I am curious to see how teachers feel about reading an article, essay, magazine, novel, short story, speech, etc. in a...

How would you describe the feeling of reading a form of writing in solitude?

I am curious to see how teachers feel about reading an article, essay, magazine, novel, short story, speech, etc. in a quiet, secluded area (such as in the library, house, outdoors).

Asked on by magnotta

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Emily Dickinson wrote of reading:

There is no frigate like a book

To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page

Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take

Without oppress of toil;

How frugal is the chariot

That bears a human soul!

Indeed, when one is in solitude and reading a pleasurable literary work, there is a transport into the pages of that book where one is immersed in the scene traversing time and place to that of the work.  It is as though one dives between the lines of ink; there an imaginary life begins and ends with the narrative.  And, when a novel is finished, the reader almost feels as though she has parted with a friend.   

Whatever happens around the reader thus transported in solitude is of no import; in fact, one is startled if a phone rings or another reminder of the real world intrudes.  Certainly, reading for pleasure is a great escape from the cares of the quotidian.

If reading a speech in solitude, the reader can clearly "hear" in the mind the speaker; she can pause and ponder the import, techniques, etc., of the speaker's words without distraction.  Always in solitude there is room for the mind to travel down avenues of thinking and return without getting lost.

Reading in solitude is actually a paradox, for as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "I am not solitary while I read..., though nobody is with me."  But, the difference is that the reader chooses her select company herself!

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