Knowingness and knowledge

“There is a difference between knowingness and knowledge, but what is it? Knowingness comes after knowledge; it is only the echo of its source, and it is proud to be the echo. One of the liberties of our connected age is that we can be almost infinitely knowing, consoling our lack of true knowledge with an easy cynicism of acquisition. It is cheaply glorious to be able to discover almost any fact about the world on the machine I am using to write this review: I experience that liberty as the reward it is, and also as a punishment; as both a gift of the digital world and a judgement on my scant acquaintance with the actual world.”

James Wood, reviewing Zia Haider Rahman’s dazzling first novel, In the Light of What We Know, in the New Yorker, May 19,2014.

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