Between the Rare Oases of Thought: On Thomas Bernhard and the Mind

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ON ANY GIVEN DAY, even the best and most productive of days, the ratio of circumstantial to concentrated mental activity in our minds is astonishingly, dismayingly high. Eddies of shallow memory, constant stimulation (both physical and digital), animal instincts, passing moods — these all constantly prevent us from engaging in concerted thought or perception. One of the signal pleasures of reading is that it allows us to escape the shapelessness of everyday consciousness. Good books offer us a concentrated arrangement of thoughts and perceptions — a reality that is far less superfluous than our own……

from Pocket

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