Monday Mentionables: On Literature


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I'm sure you have all read a book or two that have seen a bout of controversy. Perhaps you were in high school and you read 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury for the first time. Perhaps you picked up the Phillip Pullman 'His Dark Materials' series to read after finding out it was allegedly written against the Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps you jumped at the chance to read Alice Walker's 'The Colour Purple' because its conversation about God and sexuality was one you wanted to have. Maybe you are actually the type of person to avoid reading those controversial books because you are afraid to have your worldview rattled.

Spoiler: I am NOT that last type.

So obviously this quote from Salman Rushdie, the poster-child of modern censorship, really, is very necessary to the way I look at [good] literature (sorry readers, I do not and probably will never count the Twilight Saga as good literature).

There have been so many novels that have fundamentally changed the way I see the world, from C.S. Lewis's 'Til We have Faces' to Mark Twain's 'Huckleberry Finn' to Salman Rushdie's 'The Satanic Verses'. These novels - the ones which have been judged and banned and scrutinized by governments and religions and ideologies because they challenge the way we understand ourselves as human beings - are the reason I study literature. They have the incredible ability to reconstruct and converse about the world in which we live. They ask us to let go of some of our own preconceptions about humanity and systems of thought and to participate in a conversation we might not be comfortable with otherwise. It's magical, really.

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What works of literature have changed the way you see the world?


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