I’ve always been deeply in love with literature. I spent a lot of time with my nose in a book when I was younger, and as I grew up, my love for fiction took a break and was replaced with a love for subject-oriented prose instead. Now, I’m back to loving (and craving) both. Maybe that’s my inner Gypsy and my inner Victorian balancing themselves out again. 🙂
Literature, for me, has always been about self discovery and personal development. I’d get drawn to stuff that represented myself, in a way, so that I could perhaps try out a different garment, get mixed into situations I’d never be mixed up in in real life, enabling me to explore how I’d react, what I would feel, how I would handle it if I were.
In a way, that’s kinda like child’s play – the child tries on different set of roles, to figure out who she wants to be and how. Only, you do it in your mind when you grow up. You do it by daydreaming, reading books and watching movies.
I’m also deeply fascinated by literatures ability to be adaptogenic. As I discovered in my literature studies, novels were read quite differently by the students, giving each and every one a slightly different experience. And sometimes, I wondered if the other students perhaps had read a different book than I had, wondering why the lecturer just mentioned the main point of the novel just briefly, right before the class was over.
Literature does that.
Literature either misses the mark with you, or it hits you where you need it the most – and that might not even be where the author intended, or where it hits other people. I actually found myself in tears night after night, reading Twilight a few years ago. Me! A quite cynical, at that time 33-year-old mother, having a full-blown melt-down over a young girl with a broken heart!
Who would have guessed, huh? She reminded me too much of myself, some years ago. I, too, sat there, like Bella did, staring out the window while the months just passed by. And I was reminded of that. I was reliving it. I was allowed to go down there again, to clean my wounds and get rid of the puss that had been accumulating there since I last tended to it. If not for Twilight, I might not have gained access to that spot, buried so deep within.
I also love how literature can change the way you think. How ideas are conveyed, expanding your own vision, making you reflect and evolve in a way you wouldn’t have been able without that input. That goes for both fiction and non-fiction, of course, but in a slightly different way.
I finished my bachelor in language and literature this spring, and I’m kinda bummed about being done. I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface, and I have a giant reading list this summer. I’ve finished some of the books, are reading some, and aim to read the rest in the near future. Hopefully, this summer, as I have 6 more weeks of summer vacation, before I start another chapter in my life as the eternal student, namely the master’s degree in culture.
Here’s my list! Those with a line through them are done, the ones in italic are still to be read, and I’m currently reading those in the middle.
Rachel’s Holiday, by Marian Keyes (yup, chick lit FTW!)
The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Shadow of Night: A Novel, by Deborah Harkness (the sequel to A Discovery of Witches)
Secret Lives, by Barbara Ardinger
Following My Toes, by Laurel Osterkamp
Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Wolfe
Vilette, by Charlotte Brontë
+ a few Norwegian classics.
Crystal Grids: How and Why They Work, by Hibiscus Moon
The Goddess Is in the Details, byDeborah Blake
The Crystal Healer, by Marianna Sheldrake
Novel Blogging: A Writers Guide to Blogging, by Liberty Montano
The Fire Starter Sessions, by Danielle LaPorte
I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, by Barbara Sher and Barbara Smith
Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, by Martha Beck
The Woman in the Shaman’s Body, by Barbara Tedlock
The Living Goddess, by Marija Gimbutas
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, by William Davis
The Gray Witch’s Grimoire, by Amethyst Raine
Lady Nature – Enchanted Encounters with the Earth Goddess, by Storm Moon
Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel, by Lisa Zunshine
The Right-Brain Business Plan, by Jennifer Lee
As you can see, I’ll have plenty to do the next weeks..!
Have you read any of these? Or do you have a story about literature’s impact on someone? What’s on your reading list? You know you can always share in the comments field below, or write a post of your own with a link back here – if you’re on WordPress, your link will show up here. 🙂