Beyond the Paper: Solitary Reading as Intersubjective Experience

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Line Dalsgård - Lecturer

Most Danish readers experience reading for pleasure as a solitary, almost intimate activity. It is difficult to talk to others about it, and you move into the universe of the text as a withdrawal from a relationships with people around you. A reader even found the reading of a book used by others too intimate. At the same time, reading literature may be a very fulfilling, at times even absorbing experience of being with others. The author perhaps, the characters for sure, and at times, a better version of oneself. In the reading, life becomes more real, more passionate, more shared. Academic deconstruction may tell us that the privacy in reading is an illusion, a spell-binding that blinds us to the fact that not only are we susceptible to dominant norms when we read, we are also structuring our experience of self and the world in very specific ways. But when the book finishes, the feeling of fulfillment and perhaps loss, now that it is over, may be very real and individual.
12 Dec 2019

Event (Conference)

TitleAl(l)one: Solitude and what it tells us about Community
LocationAarhus University
Degree of recognitionInternational event


  • literature, reading, intersubjectivity, solitude

ID: 180427493