A recent piece in the Los Angeles Times by staff writer Susan Salter Reynolds offers writers and readers a reminder of the transcendence of the written word in the Age of Distraction.
A few choice quotes:
[L]iterature has a big head start when it comes to helping us live our lives. On the world map literature would be Europe and the Internet, America. Escaping is one thing — science fiction, romance novels and nonfiction make excellent magic carpets — but for turning and facing, there’s nothing like good old literary fiction.
In order to be truly useful, fiction has to have a certain psychological density and depth. And as much as authors like to deny it, much of that depth comes from the autobiographical component of all fiction.
[A]uthors have to be particularly conscious. And so do readers… If we become too depleted by, say, the pace of life, the bombarding of information or our disconnection from the natural world; too emptied out, too dependent on external stimuli, we run the risk of being lousy writers and lousy readers.
“Cutting through the din of the dotcom age: The real battle was waged with the Internet.” by Susan Salter Reynolds via the Los Angeles Times online edition, December 20, 2009.