Thursday, January 26, 2017

Quote of the Day (David Denby, on Reading as an ‘Opening to a Wider Life’)

“[T]he liberal arts in general, and especially reading seriously, offer an opening to a wider life, the powers of active citizenship (including the willingness to vote); reading strengthens perception, judgment, and character; it creates understanding of other people and oneself, maybe kindliness and wit, and certainly the ability to endure solitude, both in the common sense of empty-room loneliness and the cosmic sense of empty-universe loneliness. Reading fiction carries you further into imagination and invention than you would be capable of on your own, takes you into other people's lives, and often, by reflection, deeper into your own. I will indulge a resounding tautology: every great civilization, including ours, has had a great literature and great readers. If literature matters less to young people than it once did, we are all in trouble.”— David Denby, Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives (2016)

(Photo of David Denby, from February 2016, taken by Michael Bednarek.)

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