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What makes great writing

18 Δεκέμβριος 2013

What makes great writing

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 In a world filled with demands on our time, it can be too easy to decide that the simple time commitment needed to finish a long novel isn’t worth it. We may worry that a novel written 100 years ago will be boring or too difficult not to mention that we are bound to be too tired to think that hard at the end of the day.

Meanwhile our society’s continual focus on the new creates a kind of cultural ADHD. Innovations in technology, amusement, fashion, language, covering all aspects of human life and at the same time creating an infinite number of distractions.Gadgets, games, films,TV,happenings,all of which present themselves as great visual pleasures. Therefore, the only chance of a modern city dweller to focus on a book would certainly be one that tends to be new.

However there is a reason why the»oldies» are still the «goodies», why they have managed to endure and break time limits.Nineteenth century novels by Dickens, Austen , Thackeray are indeed good reads, enriched with comedy, romance, mystery, plot twists. Their language challenging capable to give our brain a «good workout» ,preventing it from growing flabby.

One might argue that we can get stories from films too ,but books are special because of the distinctive way in which they enter our minds. Any other form of entertainment is external, something we watch, like a receptive skill. Books ,on the other hand dissolve the barrier that separates us from other minds. It is possible to enter the mind of Jane Austen,when reading one of her novels. All this through the magic of language. We identify with the hopes ,fears, and dreams of others.

As Emily Bronte once beautifully put it»I have dreamed in my life, dreams that stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water and altered the color of my mind» The same can be said of books -the greater the book  , the more likely it is to shade our minds into something wiser and more beautiful.




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