Does reading fiction make you a better person?
June 2, 2013
“Does Fiction Civilize Us?” — http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/does-great-literature-make-us-better/—caused me to ponder what is the purpose of reading literature?
Most of us assume that exposure to challenging works of literary fiction is good for us. Does reading about Anna Karenina, the good folk of Middlemarch and Marcel and his friends expand our imaginations and refine our moral and social sensibilities? Does reading literature make us become more caring, wiser people? My response to that query is “I don’t know” but I do believe the purpose of reading literature lies elsewhere. My passion to encourage people to become readers is not driven by an aim to improve them but rather to give a person the experience of reading to understand what we have not dared to consider to see in ourselves but rather what we can see in the characters portrayed.
Reading allows a person to better know themselves. Only then can a person follow the wise counsel of Polonius who said: “To thine own self be true.” An increased self awareness is the gift of literature and to demand that literature also make us better human beings is not an expectation I have for why I read.
May 20, 2013
Bernard Waber, the creator of Ira Sleeps Over and Lyle the Crocodile, died on May 16. He was 91 years old. How many kids experienced their first sleep over, clinging to a bare thread of confidence with the belief that if Ira could do it, they could too! Waber had the ability to depicts common childhood […]
April 24, 2013
The Minerva Prize, aptly named for the Roman Goddess of wisdom is long overdue and illuminates just how significant excellent teachers are in the life of a child. “Only Connect”, an imperative for making ties toward understanding and compassion is at the heart of education. By rewarding superior teachers for their excellence and inspirational qualities […]