I love great literature. It has so many treasures for us piratical literary analysts to dig up.
Great literature is timeless — it never fades out of view. No matter the epoch, no matter the culture, truly great literature offers something for everyone.
Great literature is memorable — once you’ve read it, you’ll remember it for a lifetime.
Great literature is transformative — the lessons you learn will change your life. The best way to grow and develop is to learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences rather than going through the hardship ourselves. Thus the importance of great literature. We can learn from the characters in the story rather than suffering through it in our own lives.
Great literature is inexhaustible — with so many layers of meaning in truly great litrature, the veins of gold never run dry. There is a never-ending supply of golden nuggets of truth to unearth out from under the sandy surface of the words.
Great literature is illuminating — it shines a light on the weak areas of our lives or societies, encouraging us to change and develop and grow.
Great literature is captivatingly beautiful — untold facets sparkle with an untold wealth of beauty. Symbolism, metaphors, word choices, themes, images, characterization, setting… There is never a reason to grow tired of a great work of literary art. There will always be some new aspect of beauty to uncover.
Great literature is as much intuition as it is labor — the greatest of authors write so instinctually that they often don’t even realize the number and worth of the treasures they have buried. But those are the most rewarding for the literary buccaneer to find. The details that seem to worm their way into the narrative of their own accord, with no conscious thought by the author, may take a little more effort to find and dig up, but those are often the ones that lend the most substance, depth, and nuance to a story. And “X” doesn’t always mark the spot where they are. Often the only clue to their existence is the literary analyst’s own instincts.
So… On to the treasure hunts! Arrrrrrggh!
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, I invite you to check out what I think of as my best work on “My BYOB List (My Personal Favorites)”.