Why does one read literature? Why is it written in the first place? If fiction is not real, can it have any immediate significance to one’s life? In short, what is the point of literature?
Here’s the paradox. There is no one point. There’s a nebulous cloud of reasons, which hovers around literature and its purpose, with each reason addressing one tangible point of literature, without being a tangible in itself. A blend of all these intangibles together constitute what literature means to its reader.
If one considers fiction, the texts encompass events that relate to those that possibly take place in the life of the writers or in their immediate environment. This makes it exclusively significant to the writer. Fiction could also be sparked off by a small thread of inspiration that the writer may have chanced upon. It may have absolutely no direct connection with the life of the writer. In this situation, it may be relevant not even to the writer. Who is it relevant to, if at all this piece of literature is relevant? What is the purpose of its creation except the temporary amusement of the one writing it? It doesn’t help solve any immediate questions facing the world. It’s fiction after all! It doesn’t really exist.
However, there is a nebulous cloud of reason that exists. How does one tap into this reason, and express it specific terms? It is possible. It’s not easy, neither is it exhaustive, but is possible to connect some of the things one reads merely for pleasure or amusement with immediate questions, thus in the process, connect the former with solutions to said questions.
When a text is written, and is written for the sole purpose of being written, it bears one core quality: passion. It bears the essence of the deepest facet of human nature, which is the root of reason for choice. Without passion, choice is dry, and sometimes even redundant. It takes you on a journey of passion, grasping concepts only the heart can understand. The only way the mind can comprehend the reasons why a detective can solve the most puzzling cases in a matter of minutes, or why a mere man unable to decide which road to take is so profound, is because both situations possess passion, which appeals to the heart. This, in turn, expands the growth of passion through the mind.
When I read fiction, I learn. I learn not only the facts presented, but I learn things about myself I would never have imagined existed. Perspectives on immediate question in my life expand, I see things beneath the surface of what is presented in something explicitly real. By glimpsing what lies beneath, aren’t you able to see what makes the surface? You are finally able to see, ‘why’. And this, ‘why’, is nebulous. It is subjective, and may not always be quantified. But when understood, it is as clear as an objective fact. In this case, nothing can dispute it. Nothing can be said that would in any way dilute your understanding of the situation for which you have found the reason for, ‘why’.
This is why we write, and love to do so. It clarifies, without actually trying to, the questions that never cease. And it does so with a character of passion.
All my love,