Learning to Not read



In Italo Calvino’s If on a Winters Night a Traveller,” there is a character who doesn’t read. Anything. He doesn’t read billboard signs, or receipts, or store signs, or labels, or titles. He has taught himself how to not read. He stared at the words until the disappeared, and the meanings were no longer comprehensive to him. This character described it as a release from all the words being thrown at you. He is akin to the nobel savage trope, free from the influence of society, he can live his life away from the subtle suggestions and opinions that come to us through reading.

What an interesting twist, I thought to myself. I was fascinated. Once you learn to read, one never thinks of the consequence of reading. You cannot unread a sentence once it has been read. I read something today about movie theatres that gave me goosebumps, and…

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