Friday, July 07, 2006

A Literary Call to Action

An underlying message of much literature is that a substitute for action, a sensation of having acted, is better than action itself.

Peter Thorpe, Why Literature is Bad for You

I came across the above quote via Wittingshire, by way of Semicolon this morning, and I've been thinking about it ever since.

I know I've got a lot of bibliophiles and literary junkies as readers here, so I would like to pose this question to all of you, borrowed from Wittingshire:
Does literature teach us to empathize with other people, or does it merely teach us to empathize with fictional people, who are infinitely less likely to inconvenience us than are real ones?
What say ye? Agree or disagree? All I've got to say is, "If loving literature is wrong, I don't want to be right."

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[UPDATE] Amanda from Wittingshire has posted some more quotations from Peter Thorpe's book, Why Literature is Bad for You.

Why don't you go over and see what she has to say and read some more of Mr. Thorpe's views on the perils of reading literature.

Here's a quote to get you started:
There is something inherent in the nature of literature that discourages the artist from seeing man as responsible. To write a significant book or poem is to explain. To explain is to forgive. To forgive is to excuse from blame.

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