(from a letter about his students and teaching at college)
They are too directly intent on their reading. They can't get started looking two ways at once. I think too they are afraid of the simplicity of many things they think on the side as they read. They wouldn't have the face to connect it in writing with the great author they have been reading...The game is matching your author thought for thought in any of the many possible ways. Reading then becomes converse - give and take. It is only conversation in which the reader takes part addressing himself to anything at all in the author in his subject matter or form. Just as when we talk together!
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