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Why We Study Literature

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by

Lisa Durant

on 8 June 2016

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Transcript of Why We Study Literature

Why Study Literature
English 10, World Literature
What people from different cultures
and lifestyles have said . . .
Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.
-Helen Keller
What stories can do, I guess, is make things present. I can look at things I never looked at. I can attach faces to grief and love and pity and God. I can be brave. I can make myself feel again.

It's time to be blunt… I want you to feel what I felt.  I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.

-Tim O’Brien,
Author
That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
Literature reflects the evolution and development of all cultures.
Literature is news
that stays news.
-Ezra Pound,
Poet

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

-Joseph Addison,
Essayist and Politician
-Salman Rushdie,
Author
Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart.
Our high respect for a well-read person is praise enough for literature.
-T.S. Eliot,
Poet
There are worse crimes than burning books. One is not reading them.
-Ray Bradbury,
Author
There are books full of great writing that don't have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story... don't be like the book-snobs who won't do that. Read sometimes for the words--the language. Don't be like the play-it-safers who won't do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book.
-Stephen King,
Author
Science and literature are not two things, but two sides of one thing.
-Thomas Huxley,
Biologist
It is in literature that the concrete outlook of humanity receives its expression.
-Alfred North Whitehead,
Mathematician
The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.
-Elizabeth Hardwick,
American Literary Critic
When studying literature, students can learn not only language aspects . . . but also that language can be used for specific and aesthetic purposes. Familiarity with the concepts of beat, meter and rhythm can improve their own writing as students are able to appreciate and apply these ideas.  Finally, the study of literature can provide students with a fresh and creative angle with which to approach their studies in particular and their lives in general.

Sue Smith, in an essay as to why students in Hong Kong who are not Literature majors should study literature
Full transcript