Monday, December 01, 2008

On books

A lot of books are published everyday on the works of great writers.When you read these books, you will understand that the interpretations given by these writers vary from what the original writers have thought about. Who would have thought that Hamlet would be accused of Oedipus Complex? So what happens is that these learned critics and scholars undervalue literature by giving undue importance to trivia.

Another major trend in the current academia is that literary theory is more important that literature itself. Since the second half of the twentieth century many theories have come into existence and they have replaced literature.What difference does it make to the reader to know that the writer was expressing his/her repressed thoughts through the use of a symbol in a poem under analysis? More than giving strange interpretations, what literature does is to change a perspective of life by providing a richer understanding of its mystery.

Simplify, simplify, simplify, said Thoreau. He was wise to know that most eloquent speeches were vacant of meaning or spirit. Many good writers write with a simple, unadorned style and it is not difficult to see the effort that has gone into developing such clear and lucid thinking. What I would like to know is how was your perspective changed on reading a particular book?

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