The submissive reader

René Magritte, The Submissive Reader (1928)

To read is to submit to the point of view of the book. To submit to the book-point. Reading is an act of self-release, whether we’re reading fiction, non-fiction or anything in between, an act through which we learn to forget about ourselves. We submit to the page by committing our mind to the word thereon.

The submissive reader is a surprised reader who has learned that empowerment comes through total surrender to the voice of the other. The absent author lives to submit the reader to his or her creation, issuing an invitation which cannot be ignored, knocking at doors which cannot stay closed.

The submissive reader becomes one with the book, consubstantial with the story or the argument, and entirely inhabited by its words. To let go is an overture to alienation, a painful and unnecessary withdrawal.

The submissive reader cultivates joy and awe and cannot ignore the call to self-transformation.

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