Which writers do we read?

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We read for the same reason that we travel, socialise, listen to music, invent or create something. We read because we are addicted to the excitement that novelties can make us feel.

The need to explore and uncover new things is part of our essence. Possibilities drive our curiosity to experiment with physical things as well as abstract ideas. Good writing satisfies this craving for unusual discoveries that might tickle our fancy.

We read because we have the need to feel something, if not excitement, shock, fear, anger, even sadness will do.

Some of us are amazed by new factual information bits that science can provide. Others are attracted to sensational news reports. Most of us love to read real life or fictional stories; a distinguished few are touched by the unusual word order found in poetry.

These days information, news, stories, poetry, art and music are freely accessible on the internet. The written word has to compete with visual and audio media. This means that writers have to be more creative than ever before to satisfy their reader’s addiction for something fascinating. The challenge is to write something that has never been written before. Something that cannot be searched on google, something written by an writer who knows secret things.

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11 thoughts on “Which writers do we read?

  1. I respectfully disagree with this article. I do not think people read to “feel”. Feeling happens no matter what stimuli you are presented with. Reading is putting someone’s private inner thoughts into your own brain, if anything it is a social need that has evolved from upper-class theologian scribes to modern articles. There are many people saying many things and we cant all hear it at once, so we must read. What is sensationalized in modern media is going for “feeling.” Visual media relies on baser feelings to grab attention. Writing relies on logical thought with a blend of creative understanding of prose.
    Also, what do you mean “knows secrets things.”? There is no such thing. Please look into Jungian theory and the archetypes of human culture. The word “secrets” creates a feeling of exclusion; no one wants to read from someone who thinks they are excluded from the social group. Writing and reading is given to the modern people of all classes because it unites us. We need to be united an open minded, and in our world where knowledge is accessible on the internet, a classist viewpoint of knowledge is quickly fading. Secrets are just shadows of the mind, everyone has them.

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    1. Thank you Kayla for taking time to leave a comprehensive comment.
      You say: “We don’t read to feel -it is a social need…” This raises a few questions, for example: Do we have a social need to read someone else’s thoughts in order to obtain a better understanding of the author? I think this is hardly ever the case. Do we have a social need to collect present-and-past knowledge about all the different sciences? Yes, there are many of us who have this need. Is it because we want to keep up with the latest trends and news in order to fit in socially? Yes, many read for this reason. Is it because of our need to hear about potential novelties that will interest, excite or upset us? Most people read to fulfil this human need. Is it not true that we are all (to a certain extend) driven by our emotional needs to read each other’s minds, regardless of our social standing, our cognitive developmental level or our emotional intelligence. Whether the sensationalised modern media disgust or excite us, we ultimately use these feelings to help us draw conclusions, make choices and form beliefs based on what we read and in specific how it was written.

      “Writing relies on logical thought with a blend of creative understanding of prose.” This may be true about the technical aspects of the writing process but this statement fails to mention that writing, sometimes, goes beyond relying only on logic and understanding -that it may also rely on imagination, fantasy and the surreal blended with reality.
      “There is no such thing as secret things.” This is a rather radical statement to make especially when referring to archetypes which arose from the secrets in the mind of Jung/his archetypes.

      “No one wants to read from someone who thinks they are excluded from the social group.” I beg to differ and will use myself as an example: You assumed that I have not yet read Yung. If this was true, the fact would not have stopped me from reading something that you may have written on him, despite my feelings of social exclusion from your social group (that knows -which to me are still secret things- about Yung.) Whether I will continue to read you or instead search for another source on Yung, depends on my liking of your written voice, which I measure by the feelings of excitement/boredom/indifference/interest that your writing provoke in me. See,I think we make choices based on our feelings -we either feel excluded and therefore turn away and find another source or we may feel motivated by the social exclusion to find out more from an exclusive group of readers/writers and as a result be drawn into the social group (if not physically, definitely mentally).
      “Writing and reading is given to the modern people of all classes” –unfortunately this is not the case for everybody, it is only the privileged that have access to the internet. “A classist viewpoint of knowledge is quickly fading” – let’s hope this is true in a world where the majority still have to pay to attend educational institutions. Some writers may be closed minded in their personal beliefs and viewpoints but I bet if they could they would want everybody to read them. The point is –the reader makes the choice who he/she wants to read because of an underlying emotional need. We all have the need to find out about things that we don’t have knowledge of. Rilke called it “being with those who know secrets.” Good writers make a point of reading these secrets and sharing them with the rest of the world. “Everyone has shadows of the mind” but nobody’s shadows are quite the same and we only get the opportunity to read the shadows of those that are prepared to publish theirs. These days more and more people are doing exactly this, causing a waste of the reader’s time because of the bulk that we have to search through in order to find original writing that doesn’t just present existing theories, stories and knowledge in slightly different words.

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  2. Celia, I feel you must remember your forum. If you choose not to read my comment, for example, I would not even know. I did not make the comment for a response from you. It is not of my concern when I post the comment that the person is obligated to respond. This forum is of WordPress exists as a place of free opinion exchange. And how wonderful it is! This is not something I made clear I truly am being honest, and humble in these opinions. The website you’ve written here is called “Mind Experiments” and it was formally called “Mind Games”. I only know this from your URL having the former title in it when you are searching it. My point being that you must know your forum. I completely disagree that internet is given only to the privileged. I know of many poor in America who have more access to the internet than nutritious food. The extremely poor are at least aware of it. If you are right in that seemingly bleak assertion then I am saddened. I too feel emotional provocation from you words. Why else would you have posted them as such? I am probing you in return, and wholly enjoying it! I respect your viewpoints greatly.
    To address some specifically (as I sincerely appreciate you doing so first):

    1. “‘Writing relies on logical thought with a blend of creative understanding of prose.’ This may be true about the technical aspects of the writing process but this statement fails to mention that writing, sometimes, goes beyond relying only on logic and understanding -that it may also rely on imagination, fantasy and the surreal blended with reality.

    We are essentially agreeing, Celia. What I meant was that you must use your “creative understanding” (imagination) as well as logical thought to comprehend writing without a voice or person to person context. I used the word “prose” as a compliment to eloquent writing, honestly such as your own.

    2. ‘There is no such thing as secret things.’ This is a rather radical statement to make especially when referring to archetypes which arose from the secrets in the mind of Jung/his archetypes.”

    I enjoy being radical in my thoughts, and humble in my actions. It is freeing to have my thoughts be my own. I suppose I am dispelling some mystery by insisting that there are no secrets. Perhaps I am understating the value cultures place on knowledge. I have written with a narrow mind in some ways, here. I do not know what you know, or have read. Just as you do not know if I Google everything. If you have read “Memories, Dreams and Reflections” which is C. G. Jung’s narrated autobiography he states, “Regarding it from outside means regarding it from the standpoint of another nation. To do so, we must acquire sufficient knowledge of the foreign collective psyche, and in the course of this process of assimilation we encounter all those incompatibilities which constitute the national bias and the national peculiarity. Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
    In Jung’s writing he repeatedly states nothing is new, and everything has been thought of or done, essentially. Perhaps he was speaking about some cosmic whole that only he understood. In one sense, you are right, we can never know.

    In conclusion, this has been wonderful and I hope to continue discussion again another day. Keep up the writing. Here is another Jung quote of the same book I think summarizes my feeling while responding very well:

    “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” pg.326

    🙂 All the best for you!

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