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Old 09-16-2010, 08:55 PM   #11
beppe
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Posts: 5,161
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Italy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ea View Post
What did you learn from reading fiction that you hadn't expected going in?
I hope that condition is not so critical. Like meaning that when I started reading i did not know what would leave meaningful traces in me.

If I follow that hunch that I do not know nothing and that my path has been a series of fortuitous turns (opinion shared by a number of people that had and have dealing with me), than knowing little means that i learned little. Easy out.

But if I look more closely, I get the impression that all that I know of the important things of life I learned by reading fiction. I mean narrative in a wide sense.

So, starting with the most important ones, I learned about the fine art of making and eating sandwiches by the stories of Edward Delaney by Lawrence Sanders. Where else one can learn the distinction between dry and wet sandwiches to be eaten over the sink, or to unfold a news paper on the kitchen table to efficiently dispose of the mess?

To keep dry martini's already mixed in the freezer I learned it by Chandler.

What does it mean to be physically brave I learned it by a war novel. There was this officer totally fearless. And his collegue explained that one would have taken everyone to death. The true courage, he said, was not to not have fear - that was insane - but to master it. This stayed with me and helped me many times to overcome difficult or unpleasant situations.

Than there is love. From Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster, I learned that longing is good to appreciate an happy ending. And the movie accompanied the first of such longings.

The Little prince enters as a big factor in my sentimental education. Some of its teaching became obvious quite recently. The fox loves the blond hair of the little prince, associated to waves of wind in a ripe wheat field. When I saw the blonde head of the girl in the wind, it took very little else to shatter my heart and to be hit by all the longing that so many readings had loaded my heart with. A veritable time bomb. I will have to reread the Little Prince and not only once more to study the happy endings.

Last edited by beppe; 09-17-2010 at 04:07 AM.
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