On Offensive Books
2 min read | May 17 2023
I wonder if solitude, in the sense that reading a book is (or should be, at least) ultimately ingesting the harvest of someone else’s solitude, is the reason why a poorly written or half-baked book is so offensive. I’m granting you, dear author, a seat in the most private office of my mind; an audience in the most sincere and focused part of me. To have written a piece without taking all due time, steps, and process to mull over your thoughts; to refine them into uniquely new thoughts — those only possible to have been born of your unique self and voice, is offensive. I’ve granted you a seat at my most solitary table, and you’ve taken that without the due weight and respect it deserves. You’ve taken it too lightly.
In the words of the great philosopher of the nineteen nineties, Stephanie Tanner, “How rude!”
And, of course, I should make concession to the obvious: I’m not referring to the actual content of a piece in regarding its offensiveness. We ought to be reading pieces and books with which we disagree on moral premises and/or find objectionable. This is how we hone our own beliefs. Apologies for the borderline click-bait title 😉