“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, March 31, 2008

NY TIMES ESSAY: It’s Not You, It’s Your Books


This was a very interesting article—I've often thought this about
relationships. Within American and the west, I'm not a literature
snob—in fact, I'm often clueless. But I do love to read and it was
amazing how much it bothered me that my ex-boyfriend didn't read.
Okay, I sympathized (and felt sad) that he had no written first
language (his first language was spoken only), but still, he could
comfortably read in three other languages, and his father was a
reader, so why couldn't he be too? I'm a snob but I don't even
consider dating a man who hasn't had a university education (or at
least some of one). They're not worth my time because I know that
learning is important to me. I often wonder when considering
cross-cultural relationships, if I could bear not having the odd
intellectual conversation or if I could find that with other friends
once in the relationship. I often wonder about the same thing
regarding dancing. If I had to find it with someone else, would it
break the relationship? Maybe I'm a class-ist. Lenin would be
horrified. Am I justified though? Honestly, I consider it part of who
I am, and therefore an essential part in a life-partner. Hmm.

Very interesting about the gender thing. Women are more likely to be
snobs than me in terms of this. After all, men are the same gender
that like blonde, leggy and empty. But that bit about men not reading
(or perhaps, not readying for intellect). I suppose I'm okay with
non-intellectual books. After all, how can I be a snob regarding that
when I read smut myself? I guess it's important to want to read at
all, and to want to learn about things and places and events and other
life issues.