Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Should Literature Be Considered Useful?" New York Times, September 2, 2014

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/books/review/should-literature-be-considered-useful.html?ref=books

I love Dana Stevens's writing, and here are two gems that are worth adding to my dragon's hoard of quotes and good writing, from the above article:

"Literature is life’s long-lost twin, its evil double, its hidden velvet lining, its mournful ghost..." 

"Literature is the record we have of the conversation between those of us now alive on earth and everyone who’s come before and will come after, the cumulative repository of humanity’s knowledge, wonder, curiosity, passion, rage, grief and delight. It’s as useless as a spun-sugar snowflake and as practical as a Swiss Army knife (or, in Kafka’s stunning description of what a book should be, “an ice-axe to break the sea frozen inside us”). All I know is that when my daughter pushes for another chapter of Laura Ingalls Wilder at bedtime, I feel a part of something very ancient, mysterious and important, something whose existence justifies in and of itself this unlikely experiment of life on earth. I couldn’t tell you exactly what shelf in the utility closet that equipment for living occupies, but I suspect none of us storytelling apes would survive for long without it."

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