jung

On Being Max Demian—Notes on My Favorite Book

On Being Max Demian—Notes on My Favorite Book

I recently came across a useful bit of advice: in essence, to highlight often when reading an ebook, and then to revisit those highlights in order to gain not only the gist of a text, but perhaps to see what attracted your attention the most.

Nowadays I mostly read ebooks—PDF, epub, Kindle, etc.—partly because of visual impairments (I can read print books just fine, but I can enlarge ebooks to my heart’s content). But a happy byproduct of my preference for ebooks is that, as mentioned in the advice above, they make it easier to extract and compile notes taken and highlights made. I’ve been thinking about this bit of advice for some time, and, as an experiment, I ended up reaching back for one of my favorite novels, Hermann Hesse’s Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth.

The “One-After-Another” and the “Side-by-Side”

The “One-After-Another” and the “Side-by-Side”

It occurs to me that there’s a significant parallel between this neo-Platonic idea of eternity in relation to time and the mental phenomenon of a writer weaving their ideas into a narrative.  In the writer’s mind, a story is held all at once, rather than in successive stages; the reader/viewer (whether we’re talking about novels or film, or any storytelling medium really) experiences that total image incrementally, in stages, as it gradually unfolds before them.  Though it sounds like a simple point, it seems to me to spell out a significant reason for believing the writer and the reader/viewer experience the same story in markedly different ways.