By Letitia Coyne
Posted November 22, 2012
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For the first time in weeks I had a whole blog post written and edited days before deadline. The trouble is it was very angry, negative, and whiney, so I decided to cut it and go with the main thrust of what I wanted to say without all the biiiaaatching.
The moral of my story was that people generally have short memories, but they will remember for as long as they live how you made them feel. Causing someone to feel worthless, or to feel they were an important asset in your life, can be done with as little as a few moments of your time, but it will form the impression of you they carry on with forever.
I hope that doesn’t sound too corny. It could. You’ll recall the climax of ‘There’s Something about Mary’, when Ted realizes that it isn’t something about Mary herself that is so extraordinary, it is how good she makes people ordinarily shunned by society feel about themselves. Then he cries a lot and snot runs down his face, but by then the point is made.
I thought: what a shame it is that we so often trade friendships for networks, these days.
From there I went on to think about other very basic and very true truisms, full of truthful truthiness. Since nothing positive is ever accomplished through negativity, I gathered some of my favourite literary truths, spoken by greats, and listed them here for you to consider. Some of these truths are contradictory, which is in the nature of truth itself.
Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.
C. S. Lewis
Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
C. S. Lewis
The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.
If literature isn’t everything, it’s not worth a single hour of someone’s trouble.
Every man’s memory is his private literature.
The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said about him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.
The atmosphere of orthodoxy is always damaging to prose, and above all it is completely ruinous to the novel, the most anarchical of all forms of literature.
Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Literature transmits incontrovertible condensed experience… from generation to generation. In this way literature becomes the living memory of a nation.
The sole substitute for an experience which we have not ourselves lived through is art and literature.
The web, then, or the pattern, a web at once sensuous and logical, an elegant and pregnant texture: that is style, that is the foundation of the art of literature.
Robert Louis Stevenson
The force of the advertising word and image dwarfs the power of other literature in the 20th century.
Daniel J. Boorstin
Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead.
There is only one school of literature – that of talent.
Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.
In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.
Be excellent to each other.
Bill and Ted
Last word: I am in the process of unpublishing. It is the new black this season; you’ll see it everywhere soon. I’ll tell you about it another time.
P.S: Cameron Diaz might not actually have been consulted at all on any point regarding the nature of fame.
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