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I think there's something that I just don't get about literature. It's becoming especially apparent in my Spanish class, but I've noticed it in English, too. Most of the time when I read a story, I don't think much of it. I go away thinking "that was kind of pointless." But it all changes if I have to discuss it with a class. Sitting in class hearing other people's angles on the story, and turning it around in my mind, I manage to find all kinds of interesting stuff in it. Even if none of the insights are my own, they make sense, and all of a sudden the story is interesting. I complained to people before class about how stupid "El yaciyateré" and "El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan" were, but after class I decided that I need to find more stories by Horacio Quiroga and Jorge Luis Borges. But at the same time, I wonder if I'd really like anything else they wrote if I were just reading it myself. It's as if learning is a purely social process. So maybe what it boils down to is that I'm terrible at reading alone.


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