What is the blasted point of reading, and especially of writing? Why books–and story–matter


This is a topic authors should remind themselves of periodically.

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Today, I thought I’d write about something a little different: why literature matters. Why writing fiction, and reading fiction, is such an important–and validating–human experience for so many. Even if there are many who never write a novel, there is no one who never tells or hears a story.

As a former graduate student in the humanities–I completed doctoral coursework for a Ph.D. in Spanish literature, though I realized before talking oral exams and writing a dissertation that being a professor wasn’t necessarily my calling–there is one kind of snobbery that I can’t stand. And it’s exemplified perfectly in this exchange from “The Bang Theory” (all credit to CBS and the producers of the show.)

PENNY (actress/waitress): Has Leonard ever dated anyone who wasn’t a brainiac?

SHELDON (experimental physicist): Well, there was that Ph.D. in French literature.

PENNY: How is that not a brainiac?

SHELDON: For one thing…

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