… he crowded the open spaces of the novel with landscapes and wishes of his own so that he, too, could become an inseparable part of this new world

Yes, that rings true: a book is an infinite country with terrain to be marked out. Readers venture out onto its craggy or verdant face, like prospectors or pioneers: this one marks out a plot here, that one builds fences around a square space there. Some begin to dig, others start to build. Each one makes of this space what he or she will: there are no laws here teaching you what to do.

This land is broad: so large the residents may never see one another. This vastness of possible meanings means that they often encounter the pioneer's greatest fear: loneliness, the despairing thought that perhaps you may never share this view with another. Yet sometimes it happens that the paths of readers may meet; a chance word, a happy accident — somehow beyond the horizon you spy another visitor to this quiet land, and you hope.


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