Pearls from artists* # 43June 5, 2013
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Why would anyone read a book instead of watching big people move on a screen? Because a book can be literature. It is a subtle thing – a poor thing, but our own. In my view, the more literary the book – the more purely verbal, crafted sentence by sentence, the more imaginative, reasoned, and deep – the more likely people are to read it. The people who read are the people who like literature, after all, whatever that might be. They like, or require, what books alone have. If they want to see films that evening, they will find films. If they do no like to read, they will not. People who read are not too lazy to flip on the television; they prefer books. I cannot imagine a sorrier pursuit than struggling for years to write a book that attempts to appeal to people who do not read in the first place.
Annie Dillard in The Writing Life
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