Sunday, August 14, 2016

The purpose of literature

It is said that in the minds of academia, the purpose of literature, fiction, is to teach us more about ourselves.
I think that's like saying that fine arts painting has the purpose of teaching us about nature or architecture.

Fiction can certainly explain our minds about man. It just seems to me that many in academia thinks it can do so in an explainable way, as if all the lessons can be literal and logical and be disected, and have final, single explanations. I think that fiction and art expands our minds on a higher and more complex level.


Anonymous said...

Both cases are right. you may see many amazed at the end and know and not know. This is natural to the state of man.

Joe Dick said...

It does none of that, but some people just can't enjoy anything unless they think it has some importance. Otherwise they think they're wasting their time.

The need to figure things out is fine for science, but art is ruined by analysis.

John Krumm said...

Well, I tend to agree. Chomsky has said this, that some aspects of human nature are likely not precisely understandable, and good literature can help us wrap our heads around our heads, so to speak. Doesn't mean it has to be hard to read, or boring.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, quite so.