Sunday, 13 May 2012
(inspired by the work of Dian Killian, The Center for Collaborative Communication)
More practice with how to listen with our entire body/being…
(empty presence, then silent empathy)
Reading fiction is and always was about learning to see the world through often quite alien perspectives.
Jane Smiley is the author, most recently, of “Private Life,” a novel.
Excerpt: “The exploration of inner life is my other favorite virtue. A piece of fiction is an expression of its author’s inner life. Even when it depicts grand public events, it partakes of the author’s point of view (or points of view — most often divided up among the narrator and several characters with the author shadowing in the background). The reader who is exposed to these inner lives cannot remain blind to his or her own: when readers in 18th century England were asked to contemplate whether Samuel Richardson’s Pamela should yield to her employer’s attempts to possess her, they found themselves identifying with her and asking related questions about their own choices. Reading fiction is and always was practice in empathy — learning to see the world through often quite alien perspectives, learning to understand how other people’s points of view reflect their experiences. In our dangerous world, the freedom and empathy that fiction develops in its readers remain essential.”