Paper For Membership

920 words - 4 pages

The Timelessness of Literature

Since the beginnings of society, there have been storytellers. Through these people, their words, and their stories, we have been given a heritage of thought. These stories have provided a basis of thought and action for society, by giving examples and expectations of how life should be. Among these stories and books, very few have been read and enjoyed enough to be called a classic. These few are the books that have, and will, stand the test of time and will continue to be read and taught. These are the books that contain the teachings that have remained true and relevant throughout the ages. These writings and their messages are still taught because, like ...view middle of the document...

People unconsciously try to emulate those they relate to. This idea has also been apparent in the past, when before printed word there were only stories. The stories people told were tales from the past, and poetic allegories. These types of stories told of how things were, and gave a standard of how things should be. Directly and indirectly, these messages were embedded in the minds of all who listened and altered their way of living, hopefully for the good. Having the history of these stories, has shaped who we are as a society. In the end, to speak of history at all, is to speak of the power of literature and its enduring teachings that have been passed on.
A good book is one that speaks to you on different and deeper levels, with each reading. When speaking of the differences of reading a book as a child, then again as an adult, Calvino describes how different the experiences can be. He illustrates the effects of different states of mind in which someone would be reading a book. Calvino argues that when we reread a book, we will always get something different out of it because “even if the books have remained the same”, our experience will be different because “we have certainly changed, and our encounter will be an entirely new thing” (127). A younger reader who may be in a rush to finish a book as a requirement will not try to, or be able to, relate to its contents. Conversely, as an adult, and likely reading out of genuine interest, a person is expected to be more open to its deeper meanings. This person is more likely to relate to the book because of greater experience with written themes, or paralleled...

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