|© Ferdinando Scianna|
In “Loving Literature: A Cultural History,” Deidre Shauna Lynch, a professor of English at Harvard, shows us that it wasn’t always this way. For a long time, people didn’t love literature. They read with their heads, not their hearts (or at least they thought they did), and they were unnerved by the idea of readers becoming emotionally attached to books and writers. It was only over time, Lynch writes—over the century roughly between 1750 and 1850—that reading became a “private and passional” activity, as opposed to a “rational, civic-minded” one."
Joshua Rothman, in The history of 'loving' to read