C.S. Lewis on the Power of Good Literature

As a teacher, there is one universal piece of advice that I give to almost all parents: give your children time and space to read good books–guide them to good books, discuss good books, and read good books for yourself. And while reading books help a student’s reading comprehension, writing ability, critical thought, and myriad of other academic abilities, when I suggest to parents to promote reading, this is what I really mean to say:

cslewis1“Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality. There are mass emotions which heal the wound; but they destroy the privilege. In them our separate selves are pooled and we sink back into sub-individuality. But in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like a night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.”

From Lewis’s book An Experiment in Criticism 

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