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Breaking Up Over Books!

April 1, 2008

Would you break up with someone over books? What about a failed literary reference? Some would. In “It’s Not You, It’s Your Books” Rachael Donadio of the NY Times traces book snobbery to its real world zenith, for advocates, and for the detractors, its social nadir. Marco Roth’s comment brings balance to the article:

Marco Roth, an editor at the magazine n+1, said: “I think sometimes it’s better if books are just books. It’s part of the romantic tragedy of our age that our partners must be seen as compatible on every level.” Besides, he added, “sometimes people can end up liking the same things for vastly different reasons, and they build up these whole private fantasy lives around the meaning of these supposedly shared books, only to discover, too late, that the other person had a different fantasy completely.” After all, a couple may love “The Portrait of a Lady,” but if one half identifies with Gilbert Osmond and the other with Isabel Archer, they may have radically different ideas about the relationship.

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