The importance of literature

“Literature is something on the gut level which can help societies and nations sense what is really happening with them and what is about to follow. Literature helps us diagnose the diseases of society and, to some extent, prescribe ways to cure them.

The importance of literature is that it turns what we know into what we feel. Thus, a concept no longer remains a concept. It becomes an experience. To attach oneself to a concept requires a deeper understanding of life. But when a concept becomes an experience, it is easier for people to relate to it. It means literature helps ordinary folks understand the world in a way it cannot be understood without deep insight.

Literature is also important because it turns the abstract into concrete. When we try to draw a picture of an exemplary man in our mind, we face a lot of difficulty. But Dostoevsky has made this job easier for us. After reading his novel Idiot, for instance, we can understand better what an exemplary figure should be like. He has beautifully portrayed how a simple-hearted man acts and reacts.”



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