Reading is a Pact of Generosity


[R]eading is a pact of generosity between the author and reader. Each one trusts the other; each one counts on the other, demands of the other as much as he demands of himself…. There is then established a dialectical going-and-coming; when I read, I make demands; if my demands are met, what I am then reading provokes me to demand more of the author, which means to demand of the author that he demand more of me. And, vice versa, the author’s demand is that I carry my demands to the highest pitch.

– Jean-Paul Sartre, Literature and Existentialism

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