Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Katherine Paterson on the Importance of Literature

From the book of essays The Invisible Child:

And when you close Homer, there are the books of Jane Austen and Joseph Conrad, and great fat volumes of Tolstoy.  There is the Bible, perhaps the most overprescribed and least taken of any. There is Flannery O’Connor and Anne Tyler.  There is William Shakespeare and Jacob Bronowski. There is The Yearling and A Tale of Two Cities.  There is The Secret Garden and The Wind in the Willows.  There is Ramona the Brave and Where the Wild Things Are.  I have only begun to name what I especially love.  There are countless others - really good books.  Good or even great because they make the right connections. They pull together for us a world that is falling apart.  They are the words that integrate us, stretch us, comfort and heal us. They are the words that mirror the Word of creation, bringing order out of chaos. (238-9)

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