Outside Reading — Profound-Other-Fascination edition

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Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith’s consideration of the broad field of fiction storytelling, published recently in The New York Review of Books is dazzling, provocative, cerebral, emotional, and deep as the ocean. Smith introduces ideas, counters them, and swerves around to their defense, weighing the risks and rewards of both writing and reading fiction. And she manages to somehow place her arguments in both a broad historical context and teetering atop the shifting tectonic plates of the current culture. The essay makes me long to crack open a new book and starting testing Smith’s theories against my own experience.

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