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date: 01 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay explores repeat reading from several different angles. It considers the way some readers found their cultural capital on being re-readers of the classics while considering others for whom re-reading is compensation for poor memory or failure to properly grasp a text’s meaning the first time. Invoking cases from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, it considers the change that digital reading has made to our revisiting of text, and the way that book ownership figures in the practice of re-reading. Its final examples involve the re-reading at work in viewing video in Ali Smith’s How to be Both and Alison Bechdel’s rewriting of Proust.

Keywords: Proust, How to Be Both, Fun Home, Thomas Hardy, Loving Literature, Keats, amnesia, re-reading, online reading, ritualized reading

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