I’m reading Reading Lolita in Tehran right now and
this is a passage from it:
A novel is not an allegory…It is the sensual
experience of another world. If you don’t enter that
world, hold your breath with the characters and become
involved in their destiny, you won’t be able to
empathize, and empathy is at the heart of the novel.
This is how you read a novel: you inhale the
experience. So start breathing.
This is so perfect! And it works both ways. As a reader you want to breathe. As the writer, I want to make sure people can breathe. 🙂