Thomas Sorensen is a recent Ph.D. graduate from the University of Western Ontario. His work has appeared in The Arizona Quarterly and is forthcoming in The Wallace Stevens Journal.
Literature is a protean phenomenon. Nobody seems quite sure how to classify it. Is it an object, immutable and self-contained? Or is it an event that happens when a self makes contact with a line of letters on a page? Nowadays, critics regard the text primarily as a resource. “There’s a lot of useful knowledge here,” we say, and our job is to show how this knowledge can help us in real life. Recently, I have come upon a fourth option. What if the text were an organ of perception, an extension of the body that structures our muddled, all-too-narrow picture of reality?