During graduate school, I was fortunate enough to attend the Prague Summer Program run by Western Michigan University. The program offers courses in creative writing, literature, and photography, and also includes several lectures and readings by a remarkable collection of faculty. The theme when I attended was "Faith and Art," and my assumption based on this was that the lectures would all come from a religious angle. Some did, but the brilliant writers and artists I encountered interpreted this theme in a much bigger way.
One panel in particular has stuck with me for years.
Rather than focusing on faith AND art, the panelist explored the idea of faith IN art.
The arts are something I have always believed in. Be it literature, dance, music, visual art, or otherwise, art has the power to affect people in profound ways. I truly believe art has the power to change the world.
To continue my diatribe on why literature matters (and by diatribe, I mean my string of quotes and articles suggesting such) a new study suggests that reading literary fiction as opposed to popular/genre fiction or popular nonfiction leads to greater emotional intelligence.
Somehow, I don't find this shocking at all. Makes perfect sense.
See the full article at the NY Times Blog: "I Know How You're Feeling, I Read Chekov"
BA in English