Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Mirror Reading

I'm a regular consumer of Michael Gilleland's pearls of wisdom on Laudator Temporis Acti and I particularly enjoyed today's post on Reading:
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799), Sudelbuch E 215:
A book is a mirror. If a monkey peers into it, surely an apostle can't look back out.

Ein Buch ist ein Spiegel, wenn ein Affe hineinguckt, so kann freilich kein Apostel heraus sehen.
C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, n.d.), p. 121:
What we see when we think we are looking into the depths of Scripture may sometimes be only the reflection of our own silly faces.
This reminds me of a misunderstanding I had as an undergraduate student. I remember people talking about "mirror reading" and I assumed for ages, before doing any reading on it, that "mirror reading" meant people seeing their own reflections in the text. I was actually a little disappointed when I found out that it meant the reconstruction of Paul's opponents' (etc.)'s views, which seemed to me to be less appropriate than my misunderstood meaning.

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