Friday, February 15, 2019

Pete Buttigieg, 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Harvard grad, then Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, Afghanistan war veteran, in an interview in New York Magazine about his candidacy for president:

There’s been a decent amount written about the idea that this president doesn’t read, including fiction, that it hems in his way of thinking, his view of the world.

I hadn’t thought about that, but it’s convincing. Because reading is a way of putting yourself in someone else’s experience, especially reading fiction. You could, I guess, watch a movie or a play and get some of that effect, but it doesn’t seem like he does that, either. I haven’t heard of him watching a movie. Maybe he does, all I’ve heard is he watches cable. So, yeah, I mean, you read a novel and you get into somebody else’s world, and it makes you more compassionate and more attentive to why things matter. One respect in which I’m very much my father’s son is how I feel about Joyce. Ulysses is very much about daily life, when you get into this other guy’s life and you learn about the things he cares about, and why he cares about them. And then, very indirectly, very subtly, you learn why politics has impacted his life, too.

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