Thursday, September 07, 2006

Reading while driving

This school year, I am commuting by myself. For the past two year, I have had a carpool partner, but she found a job five minutes from home and deserted me. (Yes, Valerie, I'm being melodramatic. I would have taken that job too, if I were you.) I usually listen to NPR or music on my iPod, but the past two days, I have grown bored with NPR on the trip home and resorted to an old bad habit--reading while I drive. I'm actually quite skilled at reading while driving; I honed this skill in the five years that I commuted alone. Also, I don't do it in the city or in traffic, only on long stretches of highway. I know that I could listen to audiobooks, which I have done in the past, but I just haven't made it to the library yet.

Today, I read the introduction to We and was reminded of something from the Salon article that I mentioned in the previous post. In the introduction, Bruce Sterling quotes Zamyatin: "True literature can exist only where it is created, not by diligent and trustworthy functionaries, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels, and skeptics." I am going to put this quote on my classroom board. Maybe one of my students will read it and start a conversation about it.

I wish it wasn't so late already. I would like to write about some of the "madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels, and skeptics" that I have read. Alas, I must go to bed now, so that I can arise early and grade about ten more essay before my first class in the morning. I will, however, take the madman Zamyatin to bed with me and read myself to sleep.

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