There was something in the way a particular person would take a book from a shelf, the way it was opened and sniffed, that made me want to snatch it away. Others would seize upon a book that obviously beyond them. I could tell by their faces, their clothes, by their manners, the way they moved, that they’d misread the book or get nothing out of it. The kind of person who is satirized or attacked in a book is often the very person to buy it and pretend to enjoy it. As Mallarmé said, ‘If a person of average intelligence and insufficient literary preparation opens one of my books and pretends to enjoy it, there has been a mistake. Things must be returned to their places.

Anatole Broyard, Kafka was the Rage

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