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"But, what's also worth noticing is that near the end of the eighteenth century, people started reading differently or they started doing different things with the books they read: many people have told this story differently, but one compelling story is how literary criticism emerged when readers began treating the bible as not a unique text--as one source of written truth--but as one text among many that could be subjected to evaluation and analysis. The bible was partly displaced as the only book in homes to one book surrounded by other literary texts (novels, poetry, pseudo-histories, etc). Increased literacy also accompanied this trend and continued through the nineteenth century. What's interesting too though is that with secularization of reading, readers were freed to *do* things with their texts: reading and writing was not strictly sanctified and it didn't require that someone dictate strictly how it was done (from a source of spiritual or political authority). Reading also became a critical activity: one that asked readers critically to examine fictional worlds and freed them to recreate them and relive the enchantment through rereading and rewriting--not just mimicry but interpretive recreation."

-from a comment on "Monday Musings: Modern Myths" from 3QuarksDaily.com, go to http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/2006/05/monday_musing_m.html

Whilst I am sitting here getting dumber and dumber as the days get shorter, it behooves me to steer you to the above 3quarksdaily website, as you seem to have an inexhaustible hunger for good reading and intelligent criticism. It is almost exhausting for me to even get through a paragraph these days. You however, might lap it up like a dog to tasty toilet water. Let me know what you think...

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