‘Facts alone are wanted in life,’ exclaims Mr Gradgrind at the beginning of Dickens’Hard Times. Literature is not about facts alone, and – despite two and a half thousand years of arguments – no one can agree on what it is, or how to study it. But, argues Robert Eaglestone, it is precisely the open-ended nature of literature that makes it such a rewarding and useful subject.
Eaglestone shows that studying literature can change who you are, turning you from a ‘reader’ into a ‘critic’: someone attuned to the ways we make meaning in our world. Literature is a living conversation which provides endless opportunities to rethink and reinterpretour societies and ourselves. With examples ranging from Sappho toSkyrim, this book shows how literature offers freer and deeper ways of thinking and being.
Keywords: literature; literature why it matters; literary studies; english literature; literary theory; english; why it matters; Terry Eagleton; english literature; poetry; novels; drama; Shakespeare; year one; A Level; introduction, Literature Special Topics, English Literature, Literature Special Topics, English Literature