an abnormally powerful reality,
because it is both more intimate
and more condensed than normal life.
When reading a novel, the reader hears and sees openly
things that can be hidden in “real” life:
conscious and subconscious thoughts,
mental arguments and rationalizations,
acknowledged and hidden fears,
spoken and unspoken dreams.
Because of this
readers experience intimacy with characters unique to any other experience.
We feel deeply what they feel.
We defend and excuse the characters we love,
even when we know rationally that they are wrong
(but not really wrong, because we understand why they did it).
Such is the subtle power of the novel
to shift a person’s beliefs about what is good and bad.
Not a drastic shift,
or even a conscious one.
But one degree at a time is enough to change us.
Enough to change a society in the long run.
For bad or for good.
Research shows many benefits to reading literature,
which we’ll discuss in future blogs.
Some benefits we gain regardless of the moral quality of our reading material.
But a wise reader will remember the novel’s power to influence choices,
to assist or subtly divert us in improving our character.
That’s why it’s important to discover good fiction.
Have you checked out the other tabs on this site?
It might be worth your while to read Hannah’s Promise.
Many have found it challenges and encourages them
in their pursuit of a better life.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent and praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
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