December 28, 2010

Whether Literature Is A Waste of Time

Anna Karenina (Everyman's Library classics)“Suppose someone says that from reading Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary, he or she learned something useful which they then applied to their own marriage(s), […] whereas someone else professes to have had no help at all from reading assorted novels by Anne Tyler, George Eliot, William Maxwell and Anita Brookner […]. Supposing all this, or some variant of it—are we then to say that the second someone’s reading has been a total waste of time?”

See here how Norman Geras—in response to this piece by Alain de Botton in The Wall Street Journal—answers the question.