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This room is for general discussion that doesn't specifically fit into one of the other CatholicMatch rooms. Topics should not be overly serious as this is to be more of a "cafe setting."

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May 19th 2013 new
I saw this on the sidebar for the forums and it literally just about screamed my name. What has the reading of fictional literature done for me....

Well, if it weren't for the Harry Potter Books, I wouldn't have had half as much fun going through the last ten-fifteen years of my life that I did. I realize some people don't like the books for the witchcraft, but I was taught at a very, very early age what the difference between reality and a book is. Besides, it gave us something to talk about that my mother and sister just weren't interested in. They don't particularly like Science Fiction the way we do. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a very similar bonding point in that time frame.

It inspired my writing before I'd made it out of elementary school. Moreso poetry than anything now, but still very much a part of my life, as often as possible. I can't imagine what life would be without my writing outlet, so I have the maddening desire to emulate those writers to thank for that.

I'm also becoming a teacher because I want to be sure that someone else understands from these books, the same things that I have, which many of you individuals have mentioned. There's no fun in books if you can't share them (though I am very protective on that loaning process), and they['re what brought me to my path. Can't very well complain there.

May 19th 2013 new
(quote) John-184825 said: Hi Dawn,

Thanks for presenting your expert witnessing to the jury.

In The Closing of the American Mind, a non-fictional best-seller of the late 1980's, Allan Bloom wrote words somewhat like, "Without reading great and near great literature, we will not come to much understanding of the many different, and sometimes complex, personalities in the world". Although his words were simple enough to allow me to gain some idea of what he meant, I still would have liked to understand that claim in greater detail. Unfortunately, he did not elaborate on his point.

In writing this topic, I was actually most interested in how literature can supposedly increase one's ability to understand and relate to many more kind of personalities, although I welcome comments about all the other ways in which literature can bring benefits. You hinted at this aspect with the words, "given me more insights into others".

Your words, "Maybe one day you will buy my best seller and then you too will find Truth in fiction", sounds like a "novel" idea, but I must ask whether there will be friction in you fiction?
John



Ah, yes. There is friction in my fiction; every good story has a good conflict or two. Heck, if it doesn't have friction there is no story.

What have I learned about others from fiction? I've learned quite a bit about how the male mind is different from the female mind. A male narrator gives me an inside look at how some males think. Great works of fiction, like Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage and Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, showed me about the affects of war and prejudice have on people. I learned about grief from a short story called "Sorrow Rides A Fast Horse." I came to a compassionate understanding of mental illness and teen depression from Lisa Bright And Dark and I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. An obscure book called Days of Cain gave me a better understanding of the horror of the Holocaust, even though it is not a history book, but a time-travel book. Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha taught me the value of fasting and the way that wealth can rob one of spiritual strength.

These are just a few examples from my own reading history. There are many more examples.
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Jan-805954 said: As a young girl from the Central Valley of California, a very agricultural area, I didn't experience anything outside of California until I was married at age 19. I have always been an avid reader and I would spend weekends reading Gone With the Wind, Exodus, Jane Eyre, and many other classics. Those wonderful books transported me to another time, other cultures, other locations and other ways of thinking. Not everything had the values, morals, food, etc, that I had been raised with and led to believe there wasn't much else out there. I actually had been led to believe that anything outside California was dangerous and foreboding. By reading, I learned so much about the world, history, religions, and cultures and I began to think outside "my box of experience" that maybe there was something more for me to learn and see.
When my marriage failed, I immediately took a cruise to the West Indies, by myself. I met so many interesting people and visited some very different and interesting places. I snorkled for the first time, I sailed on a sail boat, I danced all night, and I even forgot that my recently divorced husband was marrying his girlfriend. John, trust me, this was totally out of the box for this farm girl from California!
It was during that trip that I decided to go back to school and get my Masters in Social Work and become a therapist. Those books set me on a path I could never have imagined.
Hi Jan,

Your description of how literature brought you from a limited and provincial mindset into a wider and richer world, reminds me of what historian and novelist, Shelby Foote, said in one of the videos online. He was from a small Southern town and he said, among other things, that through books he come into contact with characters much more interesting than most of those in his environment.

One thing that would take some details from you, if you wished to provide them, would be to hear how you were convinced that, in your words, "anything outside California was dangerous and foreboding". I could see how you could be made to believe that some faraway places with different peoples and foreign tongues could seem "dangerous and foreboding", but not such nearby places as Oregon or Arizona.

Your message as expressed in this reply, would be a good advertisement for libraries. smile

John


May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Mary-417826 said: I saw this on the sidebar for the forums and it literally just about screamed my name. What has the reading of fictional literature done for me....

Well, if it weren't for the Harry Potter Books, I wouldn't have had half as much fun going through the last ten-fifteen years of my life that I did. I realize some people don't like the books for the witchcraft, but I was taught at a very, very early age what the difference between reality and a book is. Besides, it gave us something to talk about that my mother and sister just weren't interested in. They don't particularly like Science Fiction the way we do. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a very similar bonding point in that time frame.

It inspired my writing before I'd made it out of elementary school. Moreso poetry than anything now, but still very much a part of my life, as often as possible. I can't imagine what life would be without my writing outlet, so I have the maddening desire to emulate those writers to thank for that.

I'm also becoming a teacher because I want to be sure that someone else understands from these books, the same things that I have, which many of you individuals have mentioned. There's no fun in books if you can't share them (though I am very protective on that loaning process), and they['re what brought me to my path. Can't very well complain there.

Hi Mary,

Thanks for letting me know that my title caught your eye.

When one thinks of how the preponderance of the Oxford dons of Tolkien's day had little regard for fantasy in general or the particular fantasies that he was proposing to have published, it is remarkable that he not only succeeded so grandly, but also became the father of modern high-fantasy, which includes the Harry Potter series.

I'm glad to hear that books have also given you not only the desire to write, but also the ability to enjoy the work involved in the project of writing. On top of that, you seem to be saying that books have lead you to a career that you relish.

Books have been good to you.

John


May 19th 2013 new
Historical fictions have brought alive the past and made it more memorable. I recently read a really good that did a great job of demonstrating Theology of the Body teachings.
May 19th 2013 new
I read that same story about Cooper in the foreward to my copy of "The Deerslayer". All I can say on that is, whatever he was reading must have been awfully punk, because most of his stuff is garbage.

As for "The Last of the CMers"...it can't come soon enough, eh? wink

NB: That last comment is intended to express my wish that one and all will find here his or her respective Life Long Love and Soulmate. Not that the site would crash or we would all die or anything like that.
May 20th 2013 new
(quote) Meg-920823 said: Historical fictions have brought alive the past and made it more memorable. I recently read a really good that did a great job of demonstrating Theology of the Body teachings.
Thanks for adding how historical fiction can draw in readers who might avoid "pure history". We just have to hope that the author is not an ideologue who "rearranges" a lot of things.
May 20th 2013 new
(quote) Marge-938695 said: I read that same story about Cooper in the foreward to my copy of "The Deerslayer". All I can say on that is, whatever he was reading must have been awfully punk, because most of his stuff is garbage.

As for "The Last of the CMers"...it can't come soon enough, eh?

NB: That last comment is intended to express my wish that one and all will find here his or her respective Life Long Love and Soulmate. Not that the site would crash or we would all die or anything like that.
Interesting... I happen to be a fan of Cooper. I will agree that he had his flaws, and I would certainly not say that he was the greatest writer whoever picked up pen. He did, however, create an iconic character that helped shape the American spirit. In many ways, I would say that Natty Bumpo became the American pioneer version of the British James Bond. Cooper was in touch with the first American Dream, and reflected well the sweeping landscape, ideals, and hopes of the people and land of his time. He was somewhat of a fantasy writer. Unlike Twain, he wasn't really trying to be real. He was just entertaining. Pathfinder was pure hero, with a slice of comedy and a whole lot of exaggeration.

I too am looking forward to the publication of "The Last of the CMers." wink
May 20th 2013 new
(quote) Dawn-58330 said: Ah, yes. There is friction in my fiction; every good story has a good conflict or two. Heck, if it doesn't have friction there is no story.

What have I learned about others from fiction? I've learned quite a bit about how the male mind is different from the female mind. A male narrator gives me an inside look at how some males think. Great works of fiction, like Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage and Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, showed me about the affects of war and prejudice have on people. I learned about grief from a short story called "Sorrow Rides A Fast Horse." I came to a compassionate understanding of mental illness and teen depression from Lisa Bright And Dark and I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. An obscure book called Days of Cain gave me a better understanding of the horror of the Holocaust, even though it is not a history book, but a time-travel book. Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha taught me the value of fasting and the way that wealth can rob one of spiritual strength.

These are just a few examples from my own reading history. There are many more examples.
So friction endures and probably affliction, infliction and an addiction or two along with depiction!

I was impressed with your ability to attach particular emotions and impressions to particular works.

How much or how little can one's ability to have a dating life and marriage be increased by the insights about people from reading good literature; that is, if a man reads enough page turners, will Paige turn up? scratchchin mischievous
May 20th 2013 new
I think reading anything is better exercise for the brain than most TV shows because you have to work to visualize and hear the characters. I sometimes get upset when a favorite book is made into a movie and the actors are not how I have envisioned the character.
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