07 November, 2014

Quotable Friday (38)

Whenever I do interviews (and I'm making that sound like it's often and not that I've done about three in my entire life) I get a question along the lines of "Why does fiction matter?" I tend to ramble on about fiction reflecting the real world and/or providing escapism from the real world. Luckily, there are more eloquent writers than me out there. This week on Buzzfeed, there was a list of quotations from writers on the importance of reading. You can read the full list here. This one was my favourite, from Madeleine L'Engle:

"A book too, can be a star, explosive material capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe."

And just a re-cap of my favourite quotation about the importance of books, from CS Lewis, that wasn't on the list and I've almost certainly shared before, but that I can't get enough of:

"Since it is so likely that [children] will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter, but darker."

Clearly lighting the darkness is something that resonate with me. What do you think are the most important reasons for writing or reading?


  1. Giving people permission - and encouragement - to feel.

    1. I think reading has saved many people for this very reason. In fact, I think I read somewhere that reading has an even greater positive effect on people suffering from anxiety or depression than exercise.

  2. For many it's escape. Or to inspire. For some it gives them the feeling that they're not the only one in that situation. Or gives them a chance to feel, like Derek said.

    Not sure there is a most important reason because for everyone it's different.

    1. I think feeling as if somebody understands your secrets and troubles and joys is a big reason fiction is important. It's also why something like Postsecret works.


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