Lately, I’ve been getting more and more hooked on literature, not only in its most popular form – as in something I can read, but as a work composed from many different pieces one artist has put together. Using that way of thinking, I started noticing things about books, poems etc., things such as writing techniques and their usage in mood-building, but also how it matches the author. I’ve been going deeper and deeper into analysis, I started understanding, instead of feeling – as I always did about things I read. I think I’m somewhere it’s the second step in becoming a real literature conesseur, I really hope to become one day.

I was delighted to watch, as a guest, a final of a recitation contest some time ago. Firstly, we saw a theatre play (unconventional, very deep and moving, but about that, maybe some other time), then we heard Grażyna Chrostowska’s poetry and Wanda Półtawska’s prose in the best interpretations chosen, then we had an opportunity to listen to Mrs. Półtawska’s speech. Although I liked the composition of the speech itself, I wasn’t actually fond of what was said in it. Except all the absolutely unneccesary references to gender and sexuality motives (in possibly the least tolerant way possible), we heard some adviced on how to educate ourselves.

“Read Mickiewicz, Słowacki, Norwid and Kasprowicz. That’s real literature”

This is what I heard. Although I absolutely agree these men are a necessity in your literature education (geniuses!!), I dislike the “real literature” concept used by Mrs. Półtawska. So, this was my introduction to what I’m going to write about. I’m going to analyze this, very subjective expression, go through all the arguments why I think we should try as many different types of writing possible and some historiosophy, and finish up with what I think is a full literature experience. Let’s go.

Real literature? Is that what we’re taught in school?

Exactly. We associate real literature with those boring lessons, with all these huge essays and thick books with difficult words. That’s the bad point of view. Although school lectures are literature and are very valuable – they do not complete the word “literature” by themselves. The problem with those books is 1) most people are forced to read them – which causes prejudices and discouragement; 2) we don’t understand them – we only learn theories created by people older and more educated than us; 3) we go through them so fast we don’t have the time to actually go “inside” the book.

School system enforces the “real literature” concept on us by trying to put in our heads a view, that what we read is good for us and important for humanity. Although it’s probably true, school shouldn’t enforce it on us. It should let us decide by ourselves – whether we think something’s huge or bullshit. School should shape our literature taste not create it for us. “Real literature” shouldn’t be the case at all.  Literature is freedom, therefore our choices and opinions about it should be dynamic, sincere and what’s the most important – OURS. 

Artists, writers create to manifest freedom. Putting their works in strict frames is like a crime. And if not a crime – an absolute paradox. They want people to understand their ideas not memorize it from a course. Literature is freedom of thought and many young people these days consider it a punishment or a limitation. Something went wrong.

Dear, school – let us think. You don’t have to do that for us. Thank you.

Old is good. New is… also good.

No one can tell you what books to read. There are people who adore old writing, and people who hate it. There are people who think modern is the only right form of literature and people who think that culture died at the end of the XX-th century. You can choose by yourself, or like both (like I do). Don’t like everything, but at least like something.

When you finally choose and by this fact decide to criticize the opposite side, I’d truly recommend to try something from the second hand. Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems, and there’s never too much knowledge or experience. Your opinions should have a base, and that base is what you can gain by reading. Read anything that attracts you. If you read the “Illiad” and then switch to “Twilight”, it’s okay. It’s great. Read, compare, gain knowledge and appreciate it.

Don’t hate what you don’t understand 

If you’re young and don’t understand medieval literature – do not criticize it, because the only argument you have is: “Well, it’s stupid, because it’s difficult”. If you’re older and think new books are a joke to humanity – do not criticize, because to some it’s a new shape of this Globe. Read freely and let others be free. Discuss, do not offend. One can learn from another. It’s a lot more fruitful and better for interpersonal relations. Throw away the prejudices.

The old was new, and the new will be old

Often, I hear that “THESE NEW BOOKS ARE A TOTAL VIOLATION OF WHAT’S RIGHT IN LITERATURE! A SHAME TO TRADITION!”. Come on. people. The tradition you are talking about used to be a violation of some older tradition, and that older tradition was an absolute shame to its previous (damn historiosophy). The Earth is spinning, the time is passing, people are growing up and growing old, but they never stop thinking. And as long as people keep on thinking, they’ll continue coming up with new ideas to shape this world. It’s not bad. It’s beautiful. Thinking is the best that could ever happen to human race. Do not stop the progress, try to get to know it and appreciate it.

Gather your full literature experience

It sounds like an advertisement, and it sort of is. I’m advertising reading to you. If you try to read old books, as well as new books, horrors as well as romances – you’ll be able to look at things differently and have more opportunities for comparisons.

The moral of this twisted essay is…

Read. Search. Learn. Experience. Feel and understand.

P.S. School, let us think by ourselves plz

If you want to read about why thinking is so important and why it’s your best quality visit HERE

If you want to find out why knowledge is power click HERE

Sapere aude, folks!

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