How To Read a Novel
Excerpted from Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, © 2004:
A novel is not an allegory, I said as the period was about to come to an end. 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 the heart of the novel. This is how you read a novel: you inhale the experience. So start breathing. I just want you to remember this. That is all; class dismissed.