Relational Reading

I’ve collected here a florilegium or commonplace book of suggestive quotes for a relational view of reading and writing where we can greet one another and the text as Thou

Writing is an act of community. It is a letter, it is comforting, consoling, helping, advising on our part, as well as asking it on yours. It is a part of our human association with each other. It is an expression of our love and concern for each other. – Dorothy Day

The underlying reason for writing is to bridge the gulf between one person and another.   – W H Auden

I understand the relationship between the poet, the poem, and the reader not as a static entity but as a dynamic unfolding. An emerging sacramental event. A relation between an I and a You. A relational process. – Edward Hirsch

So, after the “joy” comes in, we find ourselves in the unutterable after-hum of the poem where there resides a resonating connection between poet and reader. It’s there, in the purr of white space, that we are offered an opening to pass from the clarity of living to the clarity of understanding the metaphor. – David Biespiel

The frame through which I viewed the world changed too, with time. Greater than scene, I came to see, is situation. Greater than situation is implication. Greater than all of these is a single, entire human being who will never be confined in any frame. – Eudora Welty

There are people one meets in books or in life whom one does not merely observe, meet, or know. A deep resonance of one’s entire being is immediately set up with the entire being of the other (Cor ad cor loquitur)–heart speaks to heart in the wholeness of the language of music; true friendship is a kind of singing. – Thomas Merton on John Henry Newman

It will be necessary, then, to take up the Meditationes from the starting point of the fact that I love even before being because I am not, except insofar as I experience love, and experience it as a logic. – Jean-Luc Marion

I want to be loved. That is even the deep-lying reason why I elected to write. When I was eighteen, I read The Mill on the Floss, and I dreamed that one day I would be loved the way I loved George Eliot then. – Simone de Beauvoir

No amount of trendy postmodern theory can alter the meaningful relationships that bibliophiles forge with the writers they love. If the cult of the author still exerts influence on today’s readers, it is because reading is an act of communication, not an act of isolation. Books are not inert text but rather points of intersection, windows into the experiences and worlds of other people. – Rebecca Rothfield

Reading 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….  – Jean-Paul Sartre, Literature and Existentialism

The truer the symbol, the deeper it leads you, the more meaning it opens up. – Flannery O’Connor

The best example of co-creation is language. – Robert Lusch

Every life has lucky moments when sympathy opens one heart to others. – Penelope Fitzgerald

Well, I think language does bring us together. Fragile and misleading as it is, it’s the best communication we’ve got, and poetry is language at its most intense and potentially fulfilling. Poems do bring people together. – William Stafford

Insofar as love wills the existence of what it loves, the principle of poetry is a collective and perpetually renewed act of love that brings the world to mind, and mind to mind, as the speech of a person – at the moment of the vanishing of world and persons, which is every moment of conscious life.  Poetry is one means by which human beings engage, as they can, in the maintenance of a human world in which they can meet one another, affirm one another, remember, see, and foresee one another. – Allen Grossman

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