What is Literature for? - Deepstash
What is Literature for?

What is Literature for?

The School of Life

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Literature is a great time-saver

Literature is a great time-saver

We have a general sense that bookshops are filled with deeply important things.

It might seem like a big waste of time, but it is ultimately the greatest time-saver, for it gives us access to a range of events and emotions that will take years to try and experience directly. 


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Benefits of literature

Literature is the greatest 'reality simulator'. 

  • You can safely experience what it's like to get a divorce or kill someone and feel remorseful.
  • It lets you speed up time. It gives you the keys to the palace so you can assess your life in relation to others.
  • It introduces you to fascinating people: a Roman general or an 11th-century French princess.
  • It takes you across continents and centuries.
  • It shows us what things look like from someone else's perspective.
  • It shows us the consequences of our actions on others.
  • It shows us examples of kind and generous people.


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Writers make us feel sympathetic to ideas and feelings

In books, writers open our hearts and minds. We find descriptions of who we are and what events are really like. 

In the best of books, writers find the words to describe the fragile, weird, special experiences of our inner lives. They don't judge as harshly or as one-dimensionally as the media. They evoke pity for the hero and a new sense of how near we are to destroying our own lives.


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Books are not a distraction

Books are not a distraction

We tend to treat books as a distraction or entertainment. But it's far more than that. It's really therapy. 

Literature is a tool to help us live with more wisdom, goodness and sanity. Therefore, we should prescribe books in response to various ailments and classify them according to the problems they might be best suited to address.


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