Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Commonplace Entry

on Novels

“But no mind ever grew fat on a diet of novels. The pleasure which they occasionally offer is far too heavily paid for: they undermine the finest characters. They teach us to think ourselves into other men's places. Thus we acquire a taste for change. The personality becomes dissolved in pleasing figments of imagination. The reader learns to understand every point of view. Willingly he yields himself to the pursuit of other people's goals and loses sight of his own. Novels are so many wedges which the novelist, an actor with his pen, inserts into the closed personality of the reader. The better he calculates the size of the wedge and the strength of the resistance, so much the more completely does he crack open the personality of the victim. Novels should be prohibited by the State.”
― Elias Canetti, Auto da Fe


Parrish Lantern said...

Like the majority of your commonplace entries,this is far from commonplace, should be placed on a stone above the entrance to every library, as a warning to all would be revolutionaries. Yeah like this!

James said...

Thanks for your comment. You can understand why I admire the writing of Elias Canetti and, ironically, enjoy his one novel, Auto Da Fe, to which a visit by me is overdue.