Love at First…
“Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.”
George Bernard Shaw
This is the opening quote to Love at First… .
Your second task in this course is to read the novella Love at First… . The book is just over 21,000 words, so it should take an average reader a little over an hour to read.
Why do I have to read the whole thing?
Because I want you to experience the book as it is meant to be read. In one sitting. You don’t go to a movie theater and watch a movie in installments. You sit down and experience the movie from start to finish.
If the book was longer, then I would recommend digesting it in chunks. But this is not Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It is Love at First… .
In his essay The Philosophy of Composition, Edgar Allen Poe wrote the following: “If any literary work is too long to be read at one sitting, we must be content to dispense with the immensely important effect derivable from unity of impression—for, if two sittings be required, the affairs of the world interfere, and everything like totality is at once destroyed.” It is worth nothing that Poe was primarily concerned with poetry, specifically his writing of the poem The Raven, however, I believe his words are relevant for my purposes.
Poe does go on to write, “…that a certain degree of duration is absolutely requisite for the production of any effect at all.”
Something else to consider is this: Musicians will sight read a piece of music the first time they see the score. Actors will do a cold read of a script the first time they are given the script. What all of these things have in common is that they give the writer, musician, and actor a general feel for the work.
I want you to read the entire book – from start to finish. Without stopping (if possible). I want you to immerse yourself in the words. The experience.
Throw yourself into the words in the same manner that you threw yourself into Tchaikovsky’s music.
I don’t want you to think about anything in particular as you read. Sometimes teachers will ask students to read a text “with purpose”. There will be a pre-reading question or some other nonsense to help them “focus their attention”. This is not how we should ask students to read fiction. It’s not how I read fiction. I am not going to ask you to read the book with any other purpose aside from simply enjoying the story.
So click on the cover, read, and enjoy.
There are no post-reading activities to complete. The reading itself was the work.
When you have finished, go back to the Course Home.