• Aside – Hearing the Writer’s Voice

    I keep coming up with interesting thoughts (at least to me) that don’t really fit with the month’s theme, so I decided to just post them anyway and call them Asides.

    I was reading Daniel Pink’s Drive when I came across a side-bar quote by Stefan Sagmeister.  As I was reading it, I could hear Stefan’s voice saying the words.  And it got me thinking.

    How does it change what you are reading when you have heard the author speak?

    I have an extreme example of that:

    I picked up Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness.  I am a Building Technologist very interested in how the design of a space changes the way people feel and react.  And I like happiness.  I’ve even read a few books about that, too.  But when I tried to read this book, I just couldn’t get past the language; it seemed so pompous.  I took it back to the library unread.  Then I heard him speak at TEDGlobal and he came across as approachable, tongue-in-cheek even, with a very dry sense of humour.  When I read the book again after that, I could hear his voice speaking it and I loved it. Hearing his voice speak the words profoundly changed the way I experienced the book.

    Do you hear an author’s voice, if you’ve heard it before, when you read a book?

    The reason I noticed it this time is that I was hearing Daniel Pink’s voice until I read the Stefan Sagmeister quote.

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