What is Literature for?

Why should we spend our time reading novels or poems when out there big things are going on?

Some of the ways literature benefits us:

1. It saves us time – because it gives us access to a range of emotions and events that would take years, decades, millennia, to try to explore directly.

It is the greatest reality simulator – a machine that puts you through infinitely more situations then you could ever directly witness

Lets you see what its like to get divorces, kill someone, quit your job or make a mistake while leading your country

It lets you access your life in relation to others

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What Is Art For?

Five things art might be able to do for us:

1. Art keeps us hopeful – most popular works of art in the world show pretty things, happy people, flowers in spring, blue skies.

This enthusiasm for prettiness worries serious types of people – they wonder have people forgotten what life is really like? That is a misplaced worry. We need pretty things close because terrible problems weigh heavily on us – were in danger of slipping into despair and depression.

Prettiness is an emblem of hope and achievement. Pretty art is hope bottled and preserved for when we need it.

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