And It’s a Very Good Thing, Literature

Painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (c. 1770)

And it’s a very good thing, literature, a very good thing…a profound thing! A thing that strengthens people’s heart, instructs….Literature is a picture, that is in a certain way a picture and a mirror; the expression of passion, a kind of subtle criticism, an exhortation to edification and a document.

You perhaps would like to know how I occupy myself when I am not writing? I read. I read an awful lot, and reading has a strange effect on me. I will read through something I read a long time ago and it is as though I am wound up with new powers. I pay attention to everything, understand everything clearly, and draw from it the ability to create for myself.