Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Forays in Fiction: Quote

Charles Elbert Rhodes in the intro to William Makepeace Thakeray's Barry Lyndon:

That reading is an essential form of living, few will question. that reading is more than a receptive process,that it is even a creative process, is not yet fully accepted. Literature is as large as life; larger, in fact, than the life most achieve. Just how much literature means to us and does for us, depeds upon our attitude toward it: whether we hold that it is a means of getting away from ourselves, or a means of finding ourselves; a means of escape or a means of self-realization. The gowing minority who incline to the belief in self-realization, are not yet unanimous as to the best way to find themselves and to create larger and better selves. Before they can accomplish this they must realize that "great fiction is a laboratory course in human nature," and that it is not a substitue for life but an introduction to life.

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