14 May 2006

A note on reading and writing

Rick Salutin believes that Canadians read more for show than for pleasure or instruction. He points to book clubs and voting on books as proof of this malaise. However, those of us who are impressed by reading prodigies — JS Mill passim — should note the precocious infants in Vietnam who have started reading signboards, newspapers and books by the age of 28 months. The media will have turned them into a show of a different kind, no doubt. Of course, there are writer prodigies too. The pre-teen Daisy Ashford's The Young Visiters (sic) features "an elderly gentleman of 47," if we recall rightly, and was even made into a film. Gemma Williams, 17, who could only read and write upside down was cured by the use of an amber filter.

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