Friday, June 4, 2010
I recently bought a Harvest Books edition of Virginia Woolf's "The Common Reader". I have been buying quite a few of her books recently, not in first instance to read but as props for my booth at Dutch interior design fair "De Woonbeurs" (end of September). This edition instantly attracted me because of its cover design by Rudi Bass, but reading the back page I was sold!
"The common reader," says Virginia Woolf, "differs from the critic and scholar....He reads for his own pleasure rather than to impart knowledge or correct the opinion of others. Above all, he is guided by an instinct to create for himself, out whatever odds and ends he can come by, some kind of whole-a portrait of a man, as sketch of an age, a theory of the art of writing." Reading these words Woolf's reader doesn't sound so common to me. Should it have been "The Creative Reader" in stead?