Friday, December 1, 2017

A List of Values and Beliefs

Really great literature acts as a sort of societal hormone. It can be noticed or even defined by this trait. That is, it exerts societal (and I purposely do not use the term political) change in a manner that is slow, steady and long lasting. Yes, literature can be political (and I have read the argument that all fiction is political, I don't disagree, but I think this situation is more nuanced than that) but it can affect more than politics.

Really great literature is about ideas. Character, plot, event, language are all tools, important tools, but these are most powerful when used to explore, explain, and synthesize ideas. Fiction that is just about plot or character is nice, but there is only so much ground you can cover before struggling through minutiae.

Really great fiction has flaws. Just as a formally complete system must contain contradictions a great enough piece of fiction must, by its nature, contain spots. Flawless fiction has not gone far enough.

We innately make assumptions about what literature is and is not based off of the literature that has been written up to our time. We must always remember that there is literature that has not been written yet which will inevitably change the way we understand what fiction is capable of doing, what it is capable of expressing and what it is capable of changing.

We must always be reaching to create that literature that will change the way we understand literature.

The ultimate goal of fiction and literature is to approach truth. By doing this it should easily achieve some kind of beauty. All of fiction's strengths lie in its ability to uncover or create truth.

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