By Philip Davis
What really goes on inside human beings when they read serious books? InThe Experience of Reading, Philip Davis sets out to show that books matter most on a personal level. He gives a close account of the experience of thought and feeling that goes on inside a serious reader in the act of reading. He argues that reading is one of our few remaining forms of personal meditation. Davis's theory stems from a belief that reading offers much more than a mere escape into fantasy. As a professional teacher with a strong interest in a wider access to universities, Davis seeks to involve academics outside, as well as inside, the university framework, by using the modern novel as a means of linking the modern reader to other minds in other ages through an act of imaginative time travel. He links the modern reader to post-war novelists Malamud, Bellow, Lessing, and Middleton, yet his aim is far wider. Davis uses the modern novel as a starting-point in a search for a way ofbeing that takes in writers as diverse as Ben Jonson, Bunyan, Byron, Wordsworth, and George Eliot.
- New York