Jump to content, Jump to navigation.

Amber Paulen

In Praise of Reading and Fiction

In Praise of Reading and Fiction by Mario Vargas Llosa is the thinnest books I brought back from Michigan. But its physical size is no indication of its girth of truth, even in just the few pages I’ve read. It is Vargas’s speech on accepting the Nobel Prize in Literature, and throughout he sticks close and heartfelt to what must be his favorite topic. Take a taste:

We would be worse than we are without the good books we have read, more conformist, not as restless, more submissive, and the critical spirit, the engine of progress, would not even exist. Like writing, reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life. When we look in fiction for what is missing in life, we are saying, with no need to say it or even to know it, that life as it is does not satisfy our thirst for the absolute—the foundation of the human condition—and should be better. We invent fictions in order to live in some way the may lives we would like to lead when we barely have one at our disposal.


·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·