When virtue is pictured as innocence and innocence equated with childlikeness, the implication is obviously that knowledge and experience are no longer media of goodness, but have become in themselves contaminating. This is a very despairing outlook, in its way as black as Augustine's original sin, for it supposes that original goodness will in all likelihood be defiled…It surrenders the attempt to represent virtue in a mature phase.
Readers are less and less seen as mere non-writers, the subhuman “other” or flawed derivative of the author; the lack of a pen is no longer a shameful mark of secondary status but a positively enabling space, just as within every writer can be seen to lurk, as a repressed but contaminating antithesis, a reader.terry eagleton
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