Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rereading's Gifts

Gerrit Dou, Old Woman Reading a Lectionary (Rembrandt's Mother) (1630)
Although I have also experienced, in the course of my rereading, unexpected bursts of affection for the past self that devoured every book in sight, I have often felt inclined to repudiate that earlier self for its gullibility, its blindness, its undependable or unaccountable judgments. Yet surely we should be charitable to our past selves, if only because we realize that, granted another decade of perspective, we may judge our current selves equally inadequate. Perspective on and insight into the self is yet another of rereading's gifts.  (Patricia Meyer Spacks, On Rereading, p. 278)

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