Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy - which many believe goes hand in hand with it - will be dead as well.
The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose.
The society in 'The Handmaid's Tale' is a throwback to the early Puritans whom I studied extensively at Harvard under Perry Miller, to whom the book is dedicated.
Before the Civil War, Canada was at the top of the underground railroad. If you made it into Canada, you were safe unless someone came and hauled you back. That was also true during the Vietnam War for draft resisters.
An eye for an eye only leads to more blindness.
The thing about delirium is you think it's great, but it actually isn't.
Reality simply consists of different points of view.
Religions in general have to rediscover their roots. In Hinduism and the Koran, animals are described as equals. If you walk into a cathedral and look at the decorations of early Christianity, there are vines, animals, creatures and birds thriving all over the stonework.
Optimism means better than reality; pessimism means worse than reality. I'm a realist.
Sooner or later, I hate to break it to you, you're gonna die, so how do you fill in the space between here and there? It's yours. Seize your space.
We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.
Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life-sized.
You will always have partial points of view, and you'll always have the story behind the story that hasn't come out yet. And any form of journalism you're involved with is going to be up against a biased viewpoint and partial knowledge.
The genesis of a poem for me is usually a cluster of words. The only good metaphor I can think of is a scientific one: dipping a thread into a supersaturated solution to induce crystal formation. I don't think I solve problems in my poetry; I think I uncover the problems.
Canada was built on dead beavers.
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