Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Thoughts...

"Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn't ask ourselves what it says but what it means." 

 Umberto Eco

Sometimes I find a quote in a round about way and decide to ponder it reasons I cannot explain!  this one is still in my head as I continue to work my way through it.

I guess in many ways it is a warning to not believe something simply because it has been written down and printed and published. By somebody.

In some ways I really like the guidance - that books are not made to be believed, that in fact they are there to be subjected to enquiry. What a great way to encourage people to think, question and challenge, not simply accept. I imagine that is a great key to give a kid as they are starting to read things that are a bit more challenging - ask the questions, check the facts or the premises, acknowledge or realise there are different views and opinions and that yours count.

The difference between what a book says versus what it means is a tougher one for me. It seems to say we need to get behind the book and try to work out - what does it mean in the current context, what does it mean given that it was written at that point in time, by a woman author? Sad to say, I am oftentimes just happy to read something, consider what it says, agree or not agree with it, be moved or not moved by it, and not worry about what it means in the big scheme of literature or whatever. Sigh.


On the other hand, I understand what this visual message says and I hope, what it means. I came across it in Toogoolawah on the way to Goondiwindi (both fabulous names) yesterday. It is a braille marker at the bus stop, so visually impaired folk know where to stand to catch the bus. That's what it says. Perhaps what it means is we as a society care enough that a visually impaired person in a small country town can work out where the bus stop is. That we respect people's rights and support their independence. Lots of meanings perhaps.

It is also a contribution to the ongoing search for RoyGBiv with Jennifer and Julie. Enjoy!

15 comments:

  1. I love the yellow sign.... particularly what it stands for...

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  2. "that books are not made to be believed, that in fact they are there to be subjected to enquiry. What a great way to encourage people to think, question and challenge, not simply accept. I imagine that is a great key to give a kid as they are starting to read things that are a bit more challenging"

    good morning my friend...you and i's minds are dancing along the same lines ...it is something i have shared over and over with mine...so it has been written...true...but is it the truth...that is left to the mind of the reader...a choice to choose...to ponder over the words written and seek and find the value within those pages...a meaning that touches you and moves you is what matters...challenge the words written if something seems not right...we all read and interpret differently and it is alright if another does not feel the same or believes the words...life is questionable...in and around everything...hopefully that made a wee bit of sense...hehehe...

    as for the sign...a powerful statement as to the people who are within your community...around here, you do not see such...be well and much love light and blessings~




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    1. Hi Brandi - yes our minds must have caught the same train! So true that we need to check things, encourage thinking broadly...and books and writing offer us that don't they? It all made sense to me!

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  3. 5.15am and I've just read Vicki's book review, now this post.
    Certainly a stimulating start to my day!
    http://vickitheviking.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/book-review-persepolis.html

    I've never noticed such a sign, though many crossings now have "beepers" for deaf people.

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    1. Oops! I mean beepers for blind people.

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    2. Totally got it Di! Hope the brain is still ticking over...

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  4. ah now I understand what all these new yellow things are at the Bus Stops, I loved one the buses started kneeling on request 20 years ago, we are becoming a more caring society in some ways... & re the bookness of books after many years of false starts into reading "If on a Winter's Night a Traveler" by Italo Calvino I have read it and it is indeed a masterpiece and that it is a translation from the original Italian makes it even more so .

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    1. Ah yes MC - I said Braille, but really they are tactile markers so that folk know where to stand. It takes a long time for things like this to become common place and accepted - and when they do we wonder why it took so long? I love kneeling buses - always make me smile, so good to know everybody can hop on a bus. Well done with Italo Calvino - still on my my shelf after a few false starts as well.

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  5. I am amazed by this Braille sign! And a wonderful shade of orangey-yellow. Thanks for taking part in the Search for Roy.--Julie

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    1. Hi Julie - it is really a tactile marker not braille - my bad - but yes it's great to see and may I say Toogoolawah is a pretty rural and distant town, the nearest city would be an hour and a half's drive away. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to grab it for Roy!

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  6. I think what you have written gives me as much thought to ponder as does the quote! hope that made sense - it did in my head ........

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    1. I know that feeling well Susan, I am still pondering myself! Good to have you back.

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  7. "we as a society care" I love that!

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  8. Hi Leslie - I hope that is what it means! Go well.

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I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.