Becky's Reviews > Literary Taste

Literary Taste by Arnold Bennett
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Jan 05, 12

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics, librivox-gutenberg-for-free, hilarity, my-top-25
Read in January, 2011

I read this book as part of the Librivox book club. At first I wasn’t quite sure what to think about it, but I am so glad that I read it. Bennett was intensely passionate about enjoying your reading, expanding personal horizons, and relishing the art of literature. I’ll keep this review short, because instead I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes with you, and you can decide for yourself whether you should read it.

“The makers of literature are those who have seen and felt the miraculous interestingness of the universe. And the greatest makers of literature are those whose vision has been the widest, and whose feeling has been the most intense.”

“The aim of literary study is not to amuse the hours of leisure; it is to awake oneself, it is to be alive, to intensify one's capacity for pleasure, for sympathy, and for comprehension. It is not to affect one hour, but twenty-four hours. It is to change utterly one's relations with the world. An understanding appreciation of literature means an understanding appreciation of the world, and it means nothing else. Not isolated and unconnected parts of life, but all of life, brought together and correlated in a synthetic map! The spirit of literature is unifying; it joins the candle and the star, and by the magic of an image shows that the beauty of the greater is in the less. And, not content with the disclosure of beauty and the bringing together of all things whatever [pg 8] within its focus, it enforces a moral wisdom by the tracing everywhere of cause and effect”

“Fame of classical authors is originally made, and it is maintained, by a passionate few…And it is by the passionate few that the renown of genius is kept alive from one generation to another. These few are always at work. They are always rediscovering genius. Their curiosity and enthusiasm are exhaustless, so that there is little chance of genius being ignored”

“As Lamb sat in his bachelor arm-chair, with his brother in the grave, and the faithful homicidal maniac by his side, he really did think to himself, "This is beautiful. Sorrow is [pg 42] beautiful. Disappointment is beautiful. Life is beautiful. I must tell them. I must make them understand." Because he still makes you understand he is a classic.”
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