Good Reader Good Writer Commentary

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Vladimir Nabokov raised a few interesting questions in his essay regarding readers and writers. Questions like how should a reader relate to a story? Should a book be read emotionally or scientifically? He believes that a good reader reads not from the mind, nor from the heart, but from the spine. I personally agree with Nabokov’s theory about good readers. If we don’t detach ourselves a little from the story we will be too blinded by our emotions to appreciate the real art of the story. A good reader needs a great writer and vice versa. A good reader must comprehend the story through the proper use of his imagination, memory, and artistic sense. Having an imagination is necessary to get deeper in the story, and a good memory is also required to tie the pieces of the story together. And of course an artistic sense to appreciate the beauty of the author’s writing. Nabokov states “Since the master artist used his imagination in creating his book, it is natural and fair that the consumer of a book should use his imagination too.” The reader needs to also understand and appreciate the language used by the author. He needs to pay attention and notice the details in a novel and not just the general storyline. He needs to read with an open mind regardless of other people’s judgment of the novel. And he should not approach the story for entertainment and emotional participation only without paying any attention to the language used. If he does then he’s missing out on the magic of the story. Therefore, like the author said, one should always read a story from the spine, in between the heart and the mind. Nabokov’s interpretation of a good writer is a bit similar to what a good reader is. Imagination has a big part in being a good writer. A great writer must do his part and be a “storyteller, a teacher, and an enchanter”. If he lacks those traits he wouldn’t be able to

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