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On the insights of good literature…

March 11, 2012

Whatever contrivance there is in fiction does not obscure the sound insights about life that good literature contains. As Berger (1977) has observed,

‘Such insights are convincing and worthy of further investigation for several reasons. First, they ring true; that is, they conform to the readers’ general sense of things, to their common sense about themselves as social beings. Frequently insights also follow from the events and characters the novelist describes, from the premises in the story, all of which are felt to resemble real experience in some way. Readers thus accept the novelist’s conclusion from his premises as applying to social life outside as well as inside the story (p.161).” p6

“Sensitive and perceptive literary artists portray themes of human experience in ways that allow us to understand, to see our own lives with greater clarity and order:

The best stories, as far back as we can trace the tales, myths, and dramas of man, sweep us out of our world into a new, intriguing setting, yet in the final analysis they return us to our present lives by reminding us of truths, character types, and patterns of experience we already recognize in our own existence (Gasarch and Gasarch, 1972, p. xiii).” p6

Ref:  (emphases added): Sharan B. Merriam, Ed. (1983) Themes of Adulthood through literature. Teachers College Press, New York.

Quoting: Berger, Morroe. Real and Imagined Worlds. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1977.

Gasarch, Pearl, and Gasarch, Ralph. Fiction: The Universal Elements. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1972


From → Random Notes

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