Sunday Book-Thought 26

These blank spaces, left after the writer has tried to vanquish what Stéphane Mallarmé called “the terrifying whiteness of the page,” are the very spaces in which the readers can exercise their power, in those gaps that were for Roland Barthes the essence of the erotic thrill, the interstices in the text (but we can apply this to the physical text on the page as well), which he described as “there where the clothes gape.” In those openings between the edge of the paper and the edge of the ink, the reader (let us stretch this image as far as it will go) can cause a quiet revolution and establish a new society in which the creative tension is established no longer between page and text but between text and reader.
Alberto Manguel

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