Literature Importance Quotes

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I had found my religion: nothing seemed more important to me than a book. I saw the library as a temple.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Words: The Autobiography of Jean-Paul Sartre)
The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public. A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Essays and Aphorisms)
Oh! it is absurd to have a hard-and-fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn't. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read.
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)
Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. ...Science fiction is central to everything we've ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don't know what they're talking about.
Ray Bradbury
In a word, literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourse of my book-friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness. The things I have learned and the things I have been taught seem of ridiculously little importance compared with their "large loves and heavenly charities.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
The important task of literature is to free man, not to censor him, and that is why Puritanism was the most destructive and evil force which ever oppressed people and their literature: it created hypocrisy, perversion, fears, sterility.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947)
Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more ‘literary’ you are. That’s my definition anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies. So now you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
My people believe in balance,” he said. “We believe that all living things—plants, animals, people—have an intelligent spirit, and that they all make important contributions to the balance of the world.
Steven Decker (Projector for Sale)
The ability to read becomes devalued when what one has learned to read adds nothing of importance to one's life.
Bruno Bettelheim
In my country, we value achievement. People are free to decide what that means to them, and I’ve always considered helping others to be my way of accomplishing something important. I was hoping to serve others with my new job, but that’s history now, so I’m going to have to accomplish something big, or I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.
Steven Decker (Projector for Sale)
When we read, we decide when, where, how long, and about what. One of the few places on earth that it is still possible to experience an instant sense of freedom and privacy is anywhere you open up a good book and begin to read. When we read silently, we are alone with our own thoughts and one other voice. We can take our time, consider, evaluate, and digest what we read—with no commercial interruptions, no emotional music or special effects manipulation. And in spite of the advances in electronic information exchange, the book is still the most important medium for presenting ideas of substance and value, still the only real home of literature.
Andrew Clements
I had lines inside me, a string of guiding lights. I had language. Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination. I had been damaged, and a very important part of me had been destroyed - that was my reality, the facts of my life. But on the other side of the facts was who I could be, how I could feel. And as long as I had words for that, images for that, stories for that, then I wasn't lost.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
Books can do many things, but not everything. We have to live the important things, not read them.
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)
If you want to understand what's most important to a society, don't examine its art or literature, simply look at its biggest buildings.
Joseph Campbell
Courage is more important than to be deceived by shallow victory waiting for a delayed defeat.
Dejan Stojanovic
The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions-there we have none.
Virginia Woolf (The Second Common Reader)
Imaginatively she is of the highest importance; practically she is completely insignificant. She pervades poetry from cover to cover; she is all but absent from history. She dominates the lives of kings and conquerors in fiction; in fact she was the slave of any boy whose parents forced a ring upon her finger. Some of the most inspired words, some of the most profound thoughts in literature fall from her lips; in real life she could hardly read, could scarcely spell, and was the property of her husband.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
Every adult life could be said to be defined by two great love stories. The first - the story of our quest for sexual love - is well known and well charted, its vagaries form the staple of music and literature, it is socially accepted and celebrated. The second - the story of our quest for love from the world - is a more secret and shameful tale. If mentioned, it tends to be in caustic, mocking terms, as something of interest chiefly to envious or deficient souls, or else the drive for status is interpreted in an economic sense alone. And yet this second love story is no less intense than the first, it is no less complicated, important or universal, and its setbacks are no less painful. There is heartbreak here too.
Alain de Botton (Status Anxiety)
And what is literature, Rabo," he said, "but an insider's newsletter about affairs relating to molecules, of no importance to anything in the universe but a few molecules who have the disease called 'thought'.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Bluebeard)
There is absolutely no single aspect of one’s personality that is more important to develop than empathy, which is not a skill at which men typically are asked to excel. I believe empathy is not only the core of art, literature and music, but should also be at the core of society, from ethics to economics.
Chris Ware
The truth is rarely pure and never simple.  Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)
It was hard to decide on a literature course. Everything the professors said seemed to be somehow beside the point. You wanted to know why Anna had to die, and instead they told you that 19th century Russian landowners felt conflicted about whether they were really a part of Europe. The implication was that it was somehow naive to want to talk about anything interesting, or to think that you would ever know anything important.
Elif Batuman (The Idiot)
This was another of our fears: that Life wouldn't turn out to be like Literature. Look at our parents--were they the stuff of Literature? At best, they might aspire to the condition of onlookers and bystanders, part of a social backdrop against which real, true, important things could happen. Like what? The things Literature was about: Love, sex, morality, friendship, happiness, suffering, betrayal, adultery, good and evil, heroes and villains, guilt and innocence, ambition, power, justice, revolution, war, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, the individual against society, success and failure, murder, suicide, death, God.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
Science fiction is held in low regard as a branch of literature, and perhaps it deserves this critical contempt. But if we view it as a kind of sociology of the future, rather than as literature, science fiction has immense value as a mind-stretching force for the creation of the habit of anticipation. Our children should be studying Arthur C. Clarke, William Tenn, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Robert Sheckley, not because these writers can tell them about rocket ships and time machines but, more important, because they can lead young minds through an imaginative exploration of the jungle of political, social, psychological, and ethical issues that will confront these children as adults.
Alvin Toffler (Future Shock)
None of this is important in itself, but I feel somewhere that it has a lot to do with why I have always felt separate, why I have always felt unable to join in, to let go, to become part of the tribe, why I have always sniped or joked from the sidelines, why I have never, ever, lost my overwhelmingly self-conscious self-consciousness. It's not all that bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing - they are not all bad. Those devils have also been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot (Memoir, #1))
The bullet that has hit us Muslims today left the gun centuries ago when we let the clergy decide that knowledge and education were not important.
Nadeem Aslam (The Wasted Vigil) autobiography, as in all literature, what actually happened is less important than what the author can manage to persuade his audience to believe
Salman Rushdie (Midnight’s Children)
And since a novel has this correspondence to real life, its values are to some extent those of real life. But it is obvious that the values of women differ very often from the values which have been made by the other sex; naturally this is so. Yet is it the masculine values that prevail. Speaking crudely, football and sport are "important"; the worship of fashion, the buying of clothes "trivial." And these values are inevitably transferred from life to fiction. This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing-room.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
I would argue that coffee has been far more important to literature than alcohol.
Joseph Finder
More than this, I believe that the only lastingly important form of writing is writing for children. It is writing that is carried in the reader's heart for a lifetime; it is writing that speaks to the future.
Sonya Hartnett
In literature mere egotism is delightful.
Oscar Wilde (The Critic As Artist: With Some Remarks on the Importance of Doing Nothing and Discussing Everything (Green Integer))
If we were to understand how important it is to say something and say it well, maybe we wouldn’t write a single word, but that would be tragic.
Dejan Stojanovic (The Sun Watches the Sun)
Flattery is as important a machine as the lever, isn't it, Saxonberg? Give it a proper place to rest, and it can move the world.
E.L. Konigsburg (Literature Guide: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (Grades 4-8))
What good literature can do and does do—far greater than any importation of morality—is touch the human soul.
Karen Swallow Prior
We read literature for a number of reasons, but two of the most compelling ones are to get out of ourselves and our own life stories and - especially important - to find ourselves by understanding our own life stories more clearly in the context of others.
Maureen Corrigan (Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books)
Too often students are being taught to read as if literature were some kind of ethics class or civics class—or worse, some kind of self-help manual. In fact, the important thing is the way the writer uses the language.
Francine Prose (Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them)
If you want to understand what’s most important to a society, don’t examine its art or literature, simply look at its biggest buildings.” In medieval societies, the biggest buildings were its churches and palaces; using Campbell’s method, we can assume these were feudal cultures that revered their leaders and worshipped God. In modern Western cities, the biggest buildings are the banks—bloody great towers that dominate the docklands—and the shopping centers, which architecturally ape the cathedrals they’ve replaced: domes, spires, eerie celestial calm, fountains for fonts, food courts for pews.
Russell Brand (Revolution)
With so much reading ahead of you, the temptation might be to speed up. But in fact it’s essential to slow down and read every word. Because one important thing that can be learned by reading slowly is the seemingly obvious but oddly underappreciated fact that language is the medium we use in much the same way a composer uses notes, the way a painter uses paint. I realize it may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how easily we lose sight of the fact that words are the raw material out of which literature is crafted.
Francine Prose (Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them)
I have always believed in the principle that immediate survival is more important than long-term survival.
Jack McClelland (Imagining Canadian Literature: The Selected Letters)
Language helps develp life as surely as it reflects life. It is a most important part of our human condition.
Jane Yolen (Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood)
I hate everything that does not relate to literature, conversations bore me (even when they relate to literature), to visit people bores me, the joys and sorrows of my relatives bore me to my soul. Conversation takes the importance, the seriousness, the truth, out of everything I think.
Franz Kafka
The things that are said in literature are always the same. What is important is the way they are said. Looking for metaphors, for example: When I was a young man I was always hunting for new metaphors. Then I found out that really good metaphors are always the same.
Jorge Luis Borges
There were no formerly heroic times, and there was no formerly pure generation. There is no one here but us chickens, and so it has always been: A people busy and powerful, knowledgeable, ambivalent, important, fearful, and self-aware; a people who scheme, promote, deceive, and conquer; who pray for their loved ones, and long to flee misery and skip death. It is a weakening and discoloring idea, that rustic people knew God personally once upon a time-- or even knew selflessness or courage or literature-- but that it is too late for us. In fact, the absolute is available to everyone in every age. There never was a more holy age than ours, and never a less.
Annie Dillard (For the Time Being: Essays (PEN Literary Award Winner))
Nothing is more comical than seriousness understood as a virtue that has to precede all important literature
Julio Cortázar (Around the Day in Eighty Worlds)
The fault I find with our journalism is that it forces us to take an interest in some fresh triviality or other every day, whereas only three or four books in a lifetime give us anything that is of real importance.
Marcel Proust
And even though we may be involved with the most important affairs, achieve distinction or fall into some great misfortune- all the same, let us never forget how good we all once felt here, all together, united by such good and kind feelings as made us, too,...perhaps better than we actually are.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
How can the mind take hold of such a country? Generations of invaders have tried, but they remain in exile. The important towns they build are only retreats, their quarrels the malaise of men who cannot find their way home. India knows of their trouble. She knows of the whole world's trouble, to its uttermost depth. She calls "Come" through her hundred mouths, through objects ridiculous and august. But come to what? She has never defined. She is not a promise, only an appeal.
E.M. Forster (A Passage to India: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism)
Language can't describe reality. Literature has no stable reference, no real meaning. Each reader's interpretation is equally valid, more important than the author's intention. In fact, nothing in life has meaning. Reality is subjective. Values and truths are subjective. Life itself is a kind of illusion. Blah, blah, blah, let's have another scotch.
Dean Koontz (False Memory)
Slowly but surely I have been soaking Rilke up these last few months: the man, his work and his life. And that is probably the only right way with literature, with study, with people or with anything else: to let it all soak in, to let it all mature slowly inside you until it has become a part of yourself. That, too, is a growing process. Everything is a growing process. And in between, emotions and sensations that strike you like lightning. But still the most important thing is the organic process of growing.
Etty Hillesum (An Interrupted Life: The Diaries, 1941-1943; and Letters from Westerbork)
Kiss me hot,heavy,wet & angry with that attitude like you do when your mouth yells it hates me but your tongue screams it can’t wait for me. Hug me, touch me, submit to me with that insatiable passion like you do when you thought you could leave but the sight of my throbbing rock hard love muscle made you too weak in the knees. Your mind is melting fast, your soul is whispering trust, your eyes are begging please and your anger has turned to lust. Let me undress your body, caress your skin and wetly massage your mind back into making love to me again. I’d rather say I’m sorry and keep my best friend than have this come to an end. Be encouraged but more importantly…be lethal with your make up love.
Kerry E. Wagner
Orlando said it was important for scientists to have minds kept open by literature, and souls touched by the creativity of art.
Megan Frazer Blakemore (The Water Castle)
If I can draw you the right way, maybe you'll be able to see yourself through my eyes," I said, "If all goes well, of course." "That's why we needs pictures." "You're right--that's why we need pictures. Or literature, or music, or anything of that sort.
Haruki Murakami (Killing Commendatore)
During his reading hours, which were between one and five o'clock in the morning, but not every morning, he had come to the disconcerting conclusion that whistling was not an important theme in literature.
Julio Cortázar (Hopscotch)
There were no sex classes. No friendship classes. No classes on how to navigate a bureaucracy, build an organization, raise money, create a database, buy a house, love a child, spot a scam, talk someone out of suicide, or figure out what was important to me. Not knowing how to do these things is what messes people up in life, not whether they know algebra or can analyze literature.
William Upski Wimsatt
It seemed like writers have the most important job in the world, to make books, to create a connection, a kind of telepathy between two minds in which one can inhabit the other.
Mikel Jollett (Hollywood Park)
If they know nothing of death, it is because they know little of life, for the secrets of life and death belong to those, and those only, whom the sequence of time affects, and who possess not merely the present but the future, and can rise or fall from a past of glory or of shame. Movement, that problem of the visible arts, can be truly realised by Literature alone. It is Literature that shows us the body in its swiftness and the soul in its unrest.
Oscar Wilde (The Critic As Artist: With Some Remarks on the Importance of Doing Nothing and Discussing Everything (Green Integer))
There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children’s book. In adult literary fiction, stories are there on sufferance. Other things are felt to be more important: technique, style, literary knowingness… The present-day would-be George Eliots take up their stories as if with a pair of tongs. They’re embarrassed by them. If they could write novels without stories in them, they would. Sometimes they do. We need stories so much that we’re even willing to read bad books to get them, if the good books won’t supply them. We all need stories, but children are more frank about it.
Philip Pullman
Paris has history, it has art, it has wonderful architecture, it has literature, but much more important than all these, it has freedom! If a city cannot offer freedom to its dwellers, all its other beauties will be meaningless!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Literature professes to be important while at the same time considering itself an object of doubt. It confirms itself as it disparages itself. It seeks itself: this is more than it has a right to do, because literature may be one of those things which deserve to be found but not to be sought.
Maurice Blanchot (Literature and the Right to Death)
A very queer, composite being thus emerges. Imaginatively she is of the highest importance; practically she is completely insignificant. She pervades poetry from cover to cover; she is all but absent from history. She dominates the lives of kings and conquerors in fiction; in fact she was the slave of any boy whose parents forced a ring upon her finger. Some of the most inspired words, some of the most profound thoughts in literature fall from her lips; in real life she could hardly read, could scarcely spell, and was the property of her husband.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Like the bat, the Sufi is asleep to 'things of the day' - the familiar struggle for existence which the ordinary man finds all-important - and vigilant while others are asleep. In other words, he keeps awake the spiritual attention dormant in others. That 'mankind sleeps in a nightmare of unfulfillment' is a commonplace of Sufi literature
Idries Shah (The Sufis)
He turned the presidency – and the President's House – into something it had not been before: a center of curiosity and inquiry, of vibrant institution that played informal but important roles in the broader life of the nation, from science to literature.
Jon Meacham (Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power)
If you accept – and I do – that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said. The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don’t. This is how the Law is made. People making art find out where the limits of free expression are by going beyond them and getting into trouble. [...] The Law is a blunt instrument. It’s not a scalpel. It’s a club. If there is something you consider indefensible, and there is something you consider defensible, and the same laws can take them both out, you are going to find yourself defending the indefensible.
Neil Gaiman
Don't be afraid of books, even the most dissident, seemingly 'immoral' ones. Culture is a sure bet in life, whether high, low, eclectic, pop, ancient or modern. And I am convinced that reading is one of the most important tools of liberation that any human being, and a contemporary Arab woman in particular, can exploit. I am not saying it is the ONLY tool, especially with all the new alternative - more visual, interactive and hasty - ways of knowledge, learning and growth. But how could I not be convinced of literature's power, when it has been my original emancipator?
Joumana Haddad (I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman)
I am aware of many things being quite as important as good writing and good reading; but in all things it is wiser to go directly to the quiddity, to the text, to the source, to the essence—and only then evolve whatever theories may tempt the philosopher, or the historian, or merely please the spirit of the day. Readers are born free and ought to remain free.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Russian Literature)
Those people who live in an Independent nation should know how important it is to support independence not only in the government but also in arts, literature, films, newspapers, and business. Innovation, growth, and self-motivation comes from independent artists, journalists, authors, and inventors; not from the Big What which has held 90% of the market since the 1900s. Encourage innovation by supporting the Indies. That's where new opportunities are found!
Kailin Gow
There are outrages and there are outrages, and some are more outrageous than others. Mankind is resilient: the atrocities that horrified us a week ago become acceptable tomorrow. The Death of Socrates had no effect upon the history of Athens. If anything, the reputation of the city has been improved by it. The death of no person is as important to the future as the literature about it. You will learn nothing from history that can be applied, so don't kid yourself into thinking you can. 'History is bunk', said Henry Ford.
Joseph Heller (Picture This)
The novel’s not dead, it’s not even seriously injured, but I do think we’re working in the margins, working in the shadows of the novel’s greatness and influence. There’s plenty of impressive talent around, and there’s strong evidence that younger writers are moving into history, finding broader themes. But when we talk about the novel we have to consider the culture in which it operates. Everything in the culture argues against the novel, particularly the novel that tries to be equal to the complexities and excesses of the culture. This is why books such as JR and Harlot’s Ghost and Gravity’s Rainbow and The Public Burning are important—to name just four. They offer many pleasures without making concessions to the middle-range reader, and they absorb and incorporate the culture instead of catering to it. And there’s the work of Robert Stone and Joan Didion, who are both writers of conscience and painstaking workers of the sentence and paragraph. I don’t want to list names because lists are a form of cultural hysteria, but I have to mention Blood Meridian for its beauty and its honor. These books and writers show us that the novel is still spacious enough and brave enough to encompass enormous areas of experience. We have a rich literature. But sometimes it’s a literature too ready to be neutralized, to be incorporated into the ambient noise. This is why we need the writer in opposition, the novelist who writes against power, who writes against the corporation or the state or the whole apparatus of assimilation. We’re all one beat away from becoming elevator music.
Don DeLillo
What matters in the end in literature, what is always there, is the truly good. And -- though played out forms can throw up miraculous sports like The Importance of Being Earnest or Decline and Fall-- what is good is always what is new, in both form and content. What is good forgets whatever models it might have had, and is unexpected; we have to catch it on the wing. ((p. 62, Reading & Writing)
V.S. Naipaul
Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you’re on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far. The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them. I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children’s books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. I’ve seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy. It’s tosh. It’s snobbery and it’s foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isn’t hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you. Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant. We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up, rung by rung, into literacy. [from, Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming]
Neil Gaiman
There is scarcely any great author in European literature, old or new, who has not distinguished himself in his treatment of the supernatural. In English literature, I believe there is no exception from the time of the Anglo-Saxon poets to Shakespeare, and from Shakespeare to our own day. And this introduces us to the consideration of a general and remarkable fact, a fact that I do not remember to have seen in any books, but which is of very great philosophical importance: there is something ghostly in all great art, whether of literature, music, sculpture, or architecture. It touches something within us that relates to infinity
Lafcadio Hearn
To my mind, nothing is as important as good writing, because in literature, the walls between people and cultures are broken down, and the things that plague us most—suspicion and fear of the other, and the tendency to see whole groups of people as objects, as monoliths of one cultural stereotype or another—are defeated. This work is not done as a job, ladies and gentlemen, it is done out of love for the art and the artists who brought it forth, and who still bring it forth to us, down the years and across ignorance and chaos and borderlines.
Richard Bausch
It's critical we examine the kind of standards we hold fictional girls to and consider how it reflects in the way we treat real girls and, most important, what kind of emotional impact that has on them. What are we saying to girls when we cannot accept difficult, hurting female characters as being worthy of love because they are difficult and hurting?
Courtney Summers (Here We Are)
... I believe there needs to be a striving to find the pure, unadulterated root of the great truths taught by the wisdom bringers, and an understanding of the principles of the Religion of the Sun, which gave rise to times of great peace, high art and literature, and a profound understanding of reality, perennial wisdom, advances in civilization and most importantly of all, the spiritual transformation of the individual. It is when these principles are lost that civilization falls into decay, and it can't hope to regain any of its former glory, without understanding and adhering to them.
Lara Atwood (The Ancient Religion of the Sun: The Wisdom Bringers and The Lost Civilization of the Sun)
If other people thought art was important, then it would be required to graduate. But no, I don’t have to take art. I do have to take math, which is just a waste of time because the numbers get all switched up in my brain, plus, calculators exist for a reason. I do have to take history, which is basically memorizing tariff acts till your brain bleeds. I do have to take four years of gym class with a bunch of jerks who punch me if they don’t like what I say. But art? Optional. Even though art and music and literature and all that are what make us human. Algebra doesn’t make us human. Games don’t make us human.
Laura Ruby (Bad Apple)
My generation was weaned on subliminal advertising, stupid television, slasher movies, insipid grocery-store literature, MTV, VCRs, fast food, infomercials, glossy ads, diet aids, plastic surgery, a pop culture wherein the hyper-cool, blank-eyed supermodel was a hero. This is the intellectual and emotional equivalent of eating nothing but candy bars – you get malnourished and tired. We grew up in a world in which the surface of the thing is infinitely more important than its substance – and where the surface of the thing had to be “perfect,” urbane, sophisticated, blasé, adult. I would suggest that if you grow up trying constantly to be an adult, a successful adult, you will be sick of being grown up by the time you’re old enough to drink.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
Blackadder was fifty-four and had come to editing Ash out of pique. He was the son and grandson of Scottish schoolmasters. His grandfather recited poetry on firelight evenings: Marmion, Childe Harold, Ragnarok. His father sent him to Downing College in Cambridge to study under F. R. Leavis. Leavis did to Blackadder what he did to serious students; he showed him the terrible, the magnificent importance and urgency of English literature and simultaneously deprived him of any confidence in his own capacity to contribute to, or change it. The young Blackadder wrote poems, imagined Dr Leavis’s comments on them, and burned them.
A.S. Byatt (Possession)
There’s a real question as to what beauty is and why it’s important to us. Many pseudo-philosophers try to answer these questions and tell us they’re not really answerable. I draw on art and literature, and music in particular, because music is a wonderful example of something that’s in this world but not of this world. Great works of music speak to us from another realm even though they speak to us in ordinary physical sounds.
Roger Scruton (The Soul of the World)
After reading Edgar Allan Poe. Something the critics have not noticed: a new literary world pointing to the literature of the 20th Century. Scientific miracles, fables on the pattern A+ B, a clear-sighted, sickly literature. No more poetry but analytic fantasy. Something monomaniacal. Things playing a more important part than people; love giving away to deductions and other forms of ideas, style, subject and interest. The basis of the novel transferred from the heart to the head, from the passion to the idea, from the drama to the denouement.
Jules de Goncourt (Journal des Goncourt, tome 2)
Heartache may be bad for the soul, but it's great for bookshops. It's when we are at our lowest romantic ebb that we are likely to do the bulk of our life's reading. Adolescents who can't get a date are in a uniquely privileged position: they will have the perfect chance to get grounding in world literature. There is perhaps an important connection between love and reading, there is perhaps a comparable pleasure offered by both. A feeling of connection may be at the root of it. There are books that speak to us, no less eloquently—but more reliably—than our lovers. They prevent the morose suspicion that we do not fully belong to the human species, that we lie beyond comprehension. Our embarrassments, our sulks, our feelings of guilt, these phenomena may be conveyed on a page in a way that affords us with a sense of self-recognition. The author has located words to depict a situation we thought ourselves alone in feeling, and for a few moments, we are like two lovers on an early dinner date thrilled to discover how much they share (and unable to touch much of the seafood linguine in front of them, so busy are they fathoming the eyes opposite), we may place the book down for a second and stare at its spine with a wry smile, as if to say, "How lucky I ran into you.
Alain de Botton
Then it dawned on me that men throughout the country had to know about nu shu (women's written word). How could they not? They wore it on their embroidered shoes. They saw us weaving our messages into cloth. They heard us singing our songs and showing off our third-day wedding books. Men just considered our writing beneath them. It is said men have the hearts of iron, while women are made of water. This comes through men's writing and women's writing. Men's writing has more than 50,000 characters, each uniquely different, each with deep meanings and nuances. Our women's writing has 600 characters, which we use phonetically, like babies to create about 10,000 words. Men's writing takes a lifetime to learn and understand. Women's writing is something we pick up as girls, and we rely on the context to coax meaning. Men write about the outer realm of literature, accounts, and crop yields; women write about the inner realm of children, daily chores, and emotions. The men in the Lu household were proud of their wives' fluency in nu shu and dexterity in embroidery, though these things had as much importance to survival as a pig's fart.
Lisa See (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)
In Ancient Greek literature male poets tend not simply to portray women as lecherous but to attribute to them a species of lust different from that of males: a subhuman and automatic reflex, an animalistic urge. Sappho is important because she gives a fulle human voice to female desire for the first time in Western history. Since she defiantly chooses the quintessential love-object Helen of Troy as her freethinking agent, she seems fully conscious of the revolutionary claim she is making.
Sappho (Stung with Love: Poems and Fragments)
One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favorite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion? Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their “other half.” It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved’s entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could they really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a person’s face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself? Of course, I knew nothing about human love, but the idea had always been intriguing to me. Celestial beings never pretended to understand the intensity of human relationships; but I found it amazing how humans could allow another person to take over their hearts and minds. It was ironic how love could awaken them to the wonders of the universe, while at the same time confine their attention to one another.
Alexandra Adornetto
At this point there's something I should explain about myself, which is that I don't talk much, probably too little, and I think this has been detrimental to my social life. It's not that I have trouble expressing myself, or no more than people generally have when they're trying to put something complex into words. I'd even say I have less trouble than most because my long involvement with literature has given me a better-than-average capacity for handling language. But I have no gift for small talk, and there's no point trying to learn or pretend; it wouldn't be convincing. My conversational style is spasmodic (someone once described it as "hollowing"). Every sentence opens up gaps, which require new beginnings. I can't maintain any continuity. In short, I speak when I have something to say. My problem, I suppose - and this may be an effect of involvement with literature - is that I attribute too much importance to the subject. For me, it's never simply a question of "talking" but always a question of "what to talk about". And the effort of weighing up potential subjects kills the spontaneity of dialogue. In other words, when everything you say has to be "worth the effort", it's too much effort to go on talking. I envy people who can launch into a conversation with gusto and energy, and keep it going. I envy them that human contact, so full of promise, a living reality from which, in my mute isolation, I feel excluded. "But what do they talk about?" I wonder, which is obviously the wrong question to ask. The crabbed awkwardness of my social interactions is a result of this failing on my part. Looking back, I can see that it was responsible for most of my missed opportunities and almost all the woes of solitude. The older I get, the more convinced I am that this is a mutilation, for which my professional success cannot compensate, much less my "rich inner life." And I've never been able to resolve the conundrum that conversationalists pose for me: how do they keep coming up with things to talk about? I don't even wonder about it anymore, perhaps because I know there's no answer.
César Aira
I gather," he added, "that you've never had much time to study the classics?" "That is so." "Pity. Pity. You've missed a lot. Everyone should be made to study the classics, if I had my way." Poirot shrugged his shoulders. "Eh bien, I have got on very well without them." "Got on! Got on? It's not a question of getting on. That's the wrong view all together. The classics aren't a ladder leading to quick success, like a modern correspondence course! It's not a man's working hours that are important--it's his leisure hours. That's the mistake we all make. Take yourself now, you're getting on, you'll be wanting to get out of things, to take things easy--what are you going to do then with your leisure hours?
Agatha Christie (The Labours of Hercules (Hercule Poirot, #27))
It is unlikely that many of us will be famous, or even remembered. But not less important than the brilliant few that lead a nation or a literature to fresh achievements, are the unknown many whose patient efforts keep the world from running backward; who guard and maintain the ancient values, even if they do not conquer new; whose inconspicuous triumph it is to pass on what they inherited from their fathers, unimpaired and undiminished, to their sons. Enough, for almost all of us, if we can hand on the torch, and not let it down; content to win the affection, if it may be, of a few who know us and to be forgotten when they in their turn have vanished. The destiny of mankind is not governed wholly by its 'stars'.
F.L. Lucas (Style)
Nevertheless, the potential and actual importance of fantastic literature lies in such psychic links: what appears to be the result of an overweening imagination, boldly and arbitrarily defying the laws of time, space and ordered causality, is closely connected with, and structured by, the categories of the subconscious, the inner impulses of man's nature. At first glance the scope of fantastic literature, free as it is from the restrictions of natural law, appears to be unlimited. A closer look, however, will show that a few dominant themes and motifs constantly recur: deals with the Devil; returns from the grave for revenge or atonement; invisible creatures; vampires; werewolves; golems; animated puppets or automatons; witchcraft and sorcery; human organs operating as separate entities, and so on. Fantastic literature is a kind of fiction that always leads us back to ourselves, however exotic the presentation; and the objects and events, however bizarre they seem, are simply externalizations of inner psychic states. This may often be mere mummery, but on occasion it seems to touch the heart in its inmost depths and become great literature.
Franz Rottensteiner (The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien)
His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the naivest way who he might be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to be to me such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it. "You appear to be astonished," he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. "Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it." "To forget it!" "You see," he explained, "I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones." "But the Solar System!" I protested. "What the deuce is it to me?" he interrupted impatiently; "you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.
Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes: The Ultimate Collection)
Bolshevik intellectuals did not confine their reading to Marxist works. They knew Russian and European literature and philosophy and kept up with current trends in art and thoughts. Aspects of Nietzsche’s thought were either surprisingly compatible with Marxism or treated issues that Marx and Engels had neglected. Nietzsche sensitized Bolsheviks committed to reason and science to the importance of the nonrational aspects of the human psyche and to the psychpolitical utility of symbol, myth, and cult. His visions of “great politics” (grosse Politik) colored their imaginations. Politik, like the Russian word politika, means both “politics” and “policy”; grosse has also been translated as “grand” or “large scale.” The Soviet obsession with creating a new culture stemmed primarily from Nietzsche, Wagner, and their Russian popularizers. Marx and Engels never developed a detailed theory of culture because they considered it part of the superstructure that would change to follow changes in the economic base.
Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal (New Myth, New World: From Nietzsche to Stalinism)
Blindness to larger contexts is a constitutional defect of human thinking imposed by the painful necessity of being able to concentrate on only one thing at a time. We forget as we virtuously concentrate on that one thing that hundreds of other things are going on at the same time and on every side of us, things that are just as important as the object of our study and that are all interconnected in ways that we cannot even guess. Sad to say, our picture of the world to the degree to which it has that neatness, precision, and finality so coveted by scholarship is a false one. I once studied with a famous professor who declared that he deliberately avoided the study of any literature east of Greece lest the new vision destroy the architectonic perfection of his own celebrated construction of the Greek mind. His picture of that mind was immensely impressive but, I strongly suspect, completely misleading.
Hugh Nibley (Of all things!: A Nibley quote book)
In fantasy stories we learn to understand the differences of others, we learn compassion for those things we cannot fathom, we learn the importance of keeping our sense of wonder. The strange worlds that exist in the pages of fantastic literature teach us a tolerance of other people and places and engender an openness toward new experience. Fantasy puts the world into perspective in a way that 'realistic' literature rarely does. It is not so much an escape from the here-and-now as an expansion of each reader's horizons." "A child who can love the oddities of a fantasy book cannot possibly be xenophobic as an adult. What is a different color, a different culture, a different tongue for a child who has already mastered Elvish, respected Puddleglums, or fallen under the spell of dark-skinned Ged?
Jane Yolen (Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood)
Imagine the case of someone supervising an exceptional team of workers, all of them striving towards a collectively held goal; imagine them hardworking, brilliant, creative and unified. But the person supervising is also responsible for someone troubled, who is performing poorly, elsewhere. In a fit of inspiration, the well-meaning manager moves that problematic person into the midst of his stellar team, hoping to improve him by example. What happens?—and the psychological literature is clear on this point.64 Does the errant interloper immediately straighten up and fly right? No. Instead, the entire team degenerates. The newcomer remains cynical, arrogant and neurotic. He complains. He shirks. He misses important meetings. His low-quality work causes delays, and must be redone by others. He still gets paid, however, just like his teammates. The hard workers who surround him start to feel betrayed. “Why am I breaking myself into pieces striving to finish this project,” each thinks, “when my new team member never breaks a sweat?” The same thing happens when well-meaning counsellors place a delinquent teen among comparatively civilized peers. The delinquency spreads, not the stability.65 Down is a lot easier than up.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
[W]hat people truly desire is access to the knowledge and information that ultimately lead to a better life--the collected wisdom of the ages found only in one place: a well-stocked library. To the teachers and librarians and everyone on the frontlines of bringing literature to young people: I know you have days when your work seems humdrum, or unappreciated, or embattled, and I hope on those days you will take a few moments to reflect with pride on the importance of the work you do. For it is indeed of enormous importance--the job of safeguarding and sharing the world's wisdom. All of you are engaged in the vital task of providing the next generation with the tools they will need to save the world. The ability to read and access information isn't just a power--it's a superpower. Which means that you aren't just heroes--you're superheroes. I believe that with all my heart.
Linda Sue Park
You will encounter resentful, sneering non-readers who will look at you from their beery, leery eyes, as they might some form of sub-hominid anomaly, bookimus maximus. You will encounter redditters, youtubers, blogspotters, wordpressers, twitterers, and facebookers with wired-open eyes who will shout at from you from their crazy hectoring mouths about the liberal poison of literature. You will encounter the gamers with their twitching fingers who will look upon you as a character to lock crosshairs on and blow to smithereens. You will encounter the stoners and pill-poppers who will ignore you, and ask you if you have read Jack Keroauc’s On the Road, and if you haven’t, will lecture you for two hours on that novel and refuse to acknowledge any other books written by anyone ever. You will encounter the provincial retirees, who have spent a year reading War & Peace, who strike the attitude that completing that novel is a greater achievement than the thousands of books you have read, even though they lost themselves constantly throughout the book and hated the whole experience. You will encounter the self-obsessed students whose radical interpretations of Agnes Grey and The Idiot are the most important utterance anyone anywhere has ever made with their mouths, while ignoring the thousands of novels you have read. You will encounter the parents and siblings who take every literary reference you make back to the several books they enjoyed reading as a child, and then redirect the conversation to what TV shows they have been watching. You will encounter the teachers and lecturers, for whom any text not on their syllabus is a waste of time, and look upon you as a wayward student in need of their salvation. You will encounter the travellers and backpackers who will take pity on you for wasting your life, then tell you about the Paulo Coelho they read while hostelling across Europe en route to their spiritual pilgrimage to New Delhi. You will encounter the hard-working moaners who will tell you they are too busy working for a living to sit and read all day, and when they come home from a hard day’s toil, they don’t want to sit and read pretentious rubbish. You will encounter the voracious readers who loathe competition, and who will challenge you to a literary duel, rather than engage you in friendly conversation about your latest reading. You will encounter the slack intellectuals who will immediately ask you if you have read Finnegans Wake, and when you say you have, will ask if you if you understood every line, and when you say of course not, will make some point that generally alludes to you being a halfwit. Fuck those fuckers.
M.J. Nicholls (The 1002nd Book to Read Before You Die)
Above all, we are in need of a renewed Enlightenment, which will base itself on the proposition that the proper study of mankind is man, and woman. This Enlightenment will not need to depend, like its predecessors, on the heroic breakthroughs of a few gifted and exceptionally courageous people. It is within the compass of the average person. The study of literature and poetry, both for its own sake and for the eternal ethical questions with which it deals, can now easily depose the scrutiny of sacred texts that have been found to be corrupt and confected. The pursuit of unfettered scientific inquiry, and the availability of new findings to masses of people by easy electronic means, will revolutionize our concepts of research and development. Very importantly, the divorce between the sexual life and fear, and the sexual life and disease, and the sexual life and tyranny, can now at last be attempted, on the sole condition that we banish all religions from the discourse. And all this and more is, for the first time in our history, within the reach if not the grasp of everyone. However, only the most naive utopian can believe that this new humane civilization will develop, like some dream of “progress,” in a straight line. We have first to transcend our prehistory, and escape the gnarled hands which reach out to drag us back to the catacombs and the reeking altars and the guilty pleasures of subjection and abjection. “Know yourself,” said the Greeks, gently suggesting the consolations of philosophy. To clear the mind for this project, it has become necessary to know the enemy, and to prepare to fight it.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
Like literature, music can overwhelm you with sudden emotion, can move you to absolute sorrow or ecstasy; like literature, painting has the power to astonish, and to make you see the world through fresh eyes. But only literature can put you in touch with another human spirit, as a whole, with all its weaknesses and grandeurs, its limitations, its pettinesses, its obsessions, its beliefs; with whatever it finds moving, interesting, exciting or repugnant. Only literature can give you access to a spirit from beyond the grave – a more direct, more complete, deeper access than you’d have in conversation with a friend. Even in our deepest, most lasting friendships, we never speak as openly as when we face a blank page and address a reader we do not know. The beauty of an author’s style, the music of his sentences have their importance in literature, of course; the depth of an author’s reflections, the originality of his thought certainly can’t be overlooked; but an author is above all a human being, present in his books, and whether he writes very well or very badly hardly matters – as long as he gets the books written and is, indeed, present in them.
Michel Houellebecq (Soumission)
Outside of the dreary rubbish that is churned out by god knows how many hacks of varying degrees of talent, the novel is, it seems to me, a very special and rarefied kind of literary form, and was, for a brief moment only, wide-ranging in its sociocultural influence. For the most part, it has always been an acquired taste and it asks a good deal from its audience. Our great contemporary problem is in separating that which is really serious from that which is either frivolously and fashionably "radical" and that which is a kind of literary analogy to the Letterman show. It's not that there is pop culture around, it's that so few people can see the difference between it and high culture, if you will. Morton Feldman is not Stephen Sondheim. The latter is a wonderful what-he-is, but he is not what-he-is-not. To pretend that he is is to insult Feldman and embarrass Sondheim, to enact a process of homogenization that is something like pretending that David Mamet, say, breathes the same air as Samuel Beckett. People used to understand that there is, at any given time, a handful of superb writers or painters or whatever--and then there are all the rest. Nothing wrong with that. But it now makes people very uncomfortable, very edgy, as if the very idea of a Matisse or a Charles Ives or a Thelonious Monk is an affront to the notion of "ain't everything just great!" We have the spectacle of perfectly nice, respectable, harmless writers, etc., being accorded the status of important artists...Essentially the serious novelist should do what s/he can do and simply forgo the idea of a substantial audience.
Gilbert Sorrentino
Why would I what?” Will asked, wanting another bite of his burger. “Why would you risk your job teaching some stupid fantasy book?” “Because alternative universe literature promotes critical thinking, imagination, empathy, and creative problem solving. Children who are fluent in fiction are more able to interpret nonfiction and are better at understanding things like basic cause and effect, sociology, politics, and the impact of historical events on current events. Many of our technological advances were imagined by science fiction writers before the tech became available to create them, and many of today’s inventors were inspired by science fiction and fantasy to make a world more like the world in the story. Many of today’s political conundrums were anticipated by science fiction writers like Orwell, Huxley, and Heinlein, and sci-fi and fantasy tackle ethical problems in a way that allows people to analyze the problem with some emotional remove, which is important because the high emotions are often what lead to violence. Works like Harry Potter tackle the idea of abuse of power and—” Will stopped himself and swallowed. Everybody at the table, including Kenny, was staring at him in openmouthed surprise. “Anyway,” he said before taking a monster bite of his cooling hamburger on a sudden attack of nerves, “iss goomfer umf.” “It’s good for us,” Kenny translated, sounding a little stunned
Amy Lane (Shiny!)
Conspiracy theories have long been used to maintain power: the Soviet leadership saw capitalist and counter-revolutionary conspiracies everywhere; the Nazis, Jewish ones. But those conspiracies were ultimately there to buttress an ideology, whether class warfare for Communists or race for Nazis. With today’s regimes, which struggle to formulate a single ideology – indeed, which can’t if they want to maintain power by sending different messages to different people – the idea that one lives in a world full of conspiracies becomes the world view itself. Conspiracy does not support the ideology; it replaces it. In Russia this is captured in the catchphrase of the country’s most important current affairs presenter: ‘A coincidence? I don’t think so!’ says Dmitry Kiselev as he twirls between tall tales that dip into history, literature, oil prices and colour revolutions, which all return to the theme of how the world has it in for Russia. And as a world view it grants those who subscribe to it certain pleasures: if all the world is a conspiracy, then your own failures are no longer all your fault. The fact that you achieved less than you hoped for, that your life is a mess – it’s all the fault of the conspiracy. More importantly, conspiracy is a way to maintain control. In a world where even the most authoritarian regimes struggle to impose censorship, one has to surround audiences with so much cynicism about anybody’s motives, persuade them that behind every seemingly benign motivation is a nefarious, if impossible-to-prove, plot, that they lose faith in the possibility of an alternative, a tactic a renowned Russian media analyst called Vasily Gatov calls ‘white jamming’. And the end effect of this endless pile-up of conspiracies is that you, the little guy, can never change anything. For if you are living in a world where shadowy forces control everything, then what possible chance do you have of turning it around? In this murk it becomes best to rely on a strong hand to guide you. ‘Trump is our last chance to save America,’ is the message of his media hounds. Only Putin can ‘raise Russia from its knees’. ‘The problem we are facing today is less oppression, more lack of identity, apathy, division, no trust,’ sighs Srdja. ‘There are more tools to change things than before, but there’s less will to do so.
Peter Pomerantsev (This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality)