Author Helen DeWitt was asked by a journalist about books that she’s re-read during her lifespan. What ensued was a 5000 word list of her favorites — but more notably, she outlines how that book had changed from her initial read to her subsequent re-read (or rerereread as it were). She explains:
Rereading is important for writers because people in the publishing industry constantly give advice couched in terms of helping the reader. If you are not only a reader, or even a rereader, but a rerererererererererereader, you know this is complete bollocks. “The” reader does not exist. The 9-year-old who read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe 50 times in a year is genetically identical to the 54-year-old who has read Invisible Cities more times than she can count (if certainly not 50). The 16-year-old who read Pride and Prejudice as historical romance (I know Austen was forbidden, but really) is genetically identical to the 54-year-old who reads it for its social analysis, its savagery. (The 16-year-old would have had no interest in Goffman or Bourdieu; the 54-year-old sees Austen as their intellectual cousin.)
As a rereader you can’t be an amnesiac: you KNOW there were books you loved and outgrew, books you hated first time, admired 20 years later.
The idea that a work envelops you differently over a period of time struck me as a game-player and how as I mature (hopefully) my understanding of the work changes as well. It’s rare that I find time to re-play games. It’s sad really. But having revisited Plants Vs. Zombies recently, my apprecaition for tower-defense games has certainly grown.
Are there any games that you’ve re-played, but understood differently because of changes in your life or outlook?