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Posts Tagged ‘Importance of literature

Hello everybody!

I have written a small essay and I’ll appreciate your comments and suggestions. It is in the response of the question Alex had asked me a while ago.

“Literature adds to reality, it doesn’t simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become” -C.S Lewis
Literature has always been considered as healing power for reducing the rushes of stresses we experience in our daily deal of life; it has also been considered as medicine to help the readers recover from any kind of trauma, and food for intellectual growth. Significant force and effect of literature has been seen more prominently in world wars by restoring courage and strength among people. It significantly assisted them to get rid of pain of losing near and dear ones.

From ancient time, literature has shown positive changes in children’s as well as adult’s lives. Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice and wonderland’, Charles Perrault’s ‘Cinderella’, ‘Sleeping beauty’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ in 17th century, John Newbery’s ‘Little Pretty Pocket book in 18th century, Brothers Grimm’s ‘Snow White’ and L. Frank Baum’s ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ all were widely embraced by children as it not only offers them entering in the world of imagination but also assists them developing deeper understanding and critical thinking.

Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, The outsiders, Little Women, The Catcher In The Rye, The Jungle Book, Great Expectation, Are You There God?, Moonfleet, The Adventure of Tom Sawyer, Harry potter and many more among young-adult literature were greatly acknowledged by young readers.
Judy Blume, J.K Rowling, Tim Bowler, S.E Hinton, J.D Salinger, Maureen McCarthy, Libby Gleeson, and Alan Baillie renowned authors who have influenced the world in an unavoidable way.
It helps children as well as adults to know the different parts of the world, cultures, and people in better way; it encourages them to perceive lives from different perspective by finding their real-life situation through the characters, their wishes, dreams and frustrations. Sometimes readers, while reading, receive some clues to solve their own problems from the characters. Literary technique (for example, humour, comedy or tragedy) throws them into diverse range of reality creating a perfect ground to react positively towards them. It fulfils their intellectual, social and emotional needs through challenging experiences.

Bombadil Publishing, a youth to youth publisher, is successfully heading and enriching this trends with vigilant thought and assessment by offering readers (young readers in particular) to venture for gems hidden their inside and let them sparkle across the globe. Bombadil Publishinghas actually made virtue of necessity. Young people, against the popular conservative belief that they destroy literature, have proved themselves to be highly instrumental to positive change. They are poised to contribute to literature and grateful to our ancestors who spent their lives thinking and writing.

Mousumi from Bombadil, India




IN the 1950s, Soho was a part of London much frequented by writers and painters. Its restaurants were good and cheap and its pubs overpopulated. Dean Street could have been described as the centre, and in Dean Street was a pub officially called the Yorkminster. Its unofficial name was the French Pub, for its owner was French. Gaston Berlemont looked exactly like Hercule Poirot and capitalised on the resemblance. He gave impecunious artists credit, not always willingly. Above the teeming, noisy, and bohemian bar was a restaurant that served excellent French food. This restaurant was where I first met V.S. Naipaul.

arts-graphics-2008_1184758aAt that time I had a friend called Francis Wyndham, a literary critic and an editor with the publishing firm of Andre Deutsch. He kept telling me about a very promising young author from Trinidad and saying I should meet him. I had read and liked Naipaul’s first two books, but I did not see why I should meet a writer simply because I liked his work. After all I was a writer too. Francis coyly said that his author and I had many things in common. I wanted to know what.

“I don’t write novels,” I said. “He doesn’t write poetry.”

“He was at Oxford a couple of years before you.” Francis said.

“That,” I said, “is ridiculous. Why should I waste this poor man’s time because he was at Oxford a couple of years before me?”

“It’s strange,” Francis replied. “Vidia said exactly the same about you when I mentioned this to him. You see, you two do have a lot in common.”

Finally he arranged lunch at the French pub. I liked Naipaul very much as a person. He was very shy — so was I — and as I had told Francis we had nothing whatsoever in common.rieff-600

Over lunch, we talked about books we had read. I have forgotten what they were. Later I mentioned the matter to a friend, who knew Francis and laughed.

“Don’t you know what Vidia Naipaul and you have in common,” he inquired.

“Francis may have been too polite to say so, but you both have brown skins. He may think he was the only White friend either of you had, and that you should keep each other company in this English wilderness.”

swal1That was the first time I ever met Naipaul. Later, when he wrote An Area of Darkness, I reviewed it. I thought it was a wonderful book. After this we had lunch together once or twice. Over the long years since then, we have had occasional, but always friendly, meetings in one place or another. He is a very wise and witty man, when he allows himself to be. I, therefore, rather wish that our last meeting hadn’t been at a recent literary conference that started in Delhi and went on to the famous heritage hotel built out of the old fort of Neemrana.

Apart from the hazards of precipitous steps, not meant for people like me who suffer from vertigo, it was a beautiful place, in which 60-odd writers uneasily allowed themselves to relax and face one another. On our first day there, a poetry reading took place. I read some poems and Naipaul congratulated me on them. I felt pleased about this. He had become different in his appearance and now looked like a famous writer as well as being one. He had also acquired what most famous writers do, an entourage, which constantly hovered around him.

That evening we had dinner in a garden, and were sitting about at various tables afterwards. Some distance away from where we were, I noticed mild confusion. Soon after this another guest came up and said, “Sir Vidia has had the most frightful fight with the American Ambassador’s wife. Each of them ordered the other to leave the party. I don’t know who won.”

A few moments later Naipaul stamped crossly up steep steps to our table, sat down, and said, “The Americans are giving a reception for us tomorrow night. All of you are my friends, and none of you will attend it.” A prolonged and confused silence fell upon us all.

At this point another friend of mine arrived, led up to the table by his wife Lin. This was Ved Mehta, who cannot see. In the uncertain light, she did not notice Naipaul or inform Ved that he was among those present. This was unfortunate, since he, addressing us all, inquired in a concerned fashion, “Do you think Naipaul has become a megalomaniac?”

The English writer David Pryce-Jones, who was with Ved and me at university, leant over and whispered, “Careful, Ved! Careful!”

Ved replied, “Why should I be careful, David? I honestly think there’s something wrong with him.” Sir Vidia rose and walked away.

Next day, like Achilles, he sulked in his tent, or bedroom, demanding that the Ambassador’s wife should send him a written apology. Author after author went up to plead with him before he rejoined the conference.

He was not present at the American party. The rest of us went. A great change had taken place in the shy young writer I first met in the French pub. Change isn’t always for the better.

Dom Moraes is a writer, poet and columnist based in Mumbai.

“Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, ”Lighthouses” as the poet said ”erected in the sea of time.” They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind, Books are humanity in print.” (Arthur Schopenhauer)

Literature is, to a great extent, responsible for developing major parts of human civilization including persistently shaping up the concerning areas of civilization, justices as well as political system. Literature is the onliest greatest testimony of human existence that showed indispensable human emotions through joy, sorrow, tragedy etc, introduced various cultures all over the world, constructed the foundation for potential future growth of a nation.
Literature has questioned on some prominent beliefs, unfolded the bitter truth of life that had been kept secret from human knowledge, exposed the troubled life in certain areas unknown to the outer world and initiated human being to judge, analyze and understand the deeply rooted meaning of related areas and eliminated them from the root.

Youth, the most potent instrument, dynamic force, and the future treasure of a nation, hold the power that brings significant changes in society. In natural sense, literature helps them nurture their own thoughts mixed up with extracted necessary ones from multiple authors that encourage them to contribute their part to the nation by brining crucial changes. Some books in recent times which have revolutionized the knowledge from various directions are Arvind Adiga’s “The white tiger” where problematic areas are highlighted, Shiv Khera’s “you can win” where motivation is the main focus through great real heroic stories that inspire youth to keep motivated and transfer the stumbling blocks into steeping stones, Robin Sharma’s “A monk who sold his Ferrari” where it has been suggested to keep life as simple as possible in this complex world. Different books have different purposes but the commonest is to keep youth abreast with contemporary world and help them find their roles.

Mousumi Saha

Bombadil Publishing, Sweden