When I first approach a text I try to do so from as naïve a place as possible.
I don’t read any of the secondary literature surrounding the text or the introduction if it is written by someone other than the author.
I want to see what I see in the text before I see what others have seen in it.
I first read the text straight through. Basically when I first read it I read it in the same way I read novels. I just let the words flow through me.
As long as I have that tacit feeling of understanding what I’m reading (and that understanding may well be totally wrong) I don’t stop the flow of reading.
When I feel as if I have lost that tacit understanding I will stop and re-read the paragraph a few times; if that doesn’t avail me of the feeling of understanding I may look up a few words and if that fails then I just struggle through until I reach some kind of lucidity.
Often I don’t read a text more than once and have found that weeks or months later I start having a flood of ideas and realizations that feel as if they originate from me but then I’ll catch a glimpse of the text on my book shelf and be like “Oh what a silly billy I’ve been! That’s not me that’s Schopenhauer!”
I know it’s a lazy way to approach these kinds of texts but the main motive I have for reading them is that I’ve found my thought life to flourish when I do and to stagnate when I don’t.
Don’t expect the entries to be systematic or formal; I’m not writing academic papers here.
I’m writing my thoughts about what I read as they come whilst I am reading the text.
Also I won’t be writing the entries after reading the text but will write them before, during and after reading the text.
One more thing before the journal starts proper. I will only be writing them when I feel like it because often I will feel like writing about things unrelated to anything I am reading and really this blog is just an excuse to maintain a writing habit – which is helped incredibly by the positive affirmation I have received.
So yeah I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts as they scramble up the mountains of philosophy!