11 October 2011

Literature and Philosophy


"For all great Literature, I would lastly observe, is gentle towards that spirit which learns of it. It teaches by apprehension not by comprehension—which is what many philosophers try to do, and, in trying, break their jugs and spill the contents. Literature understands man and of what he is capable. Philosophy, on the other hand, may not be 'harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,' but the trouble with most of its practitioners is that they try to comprehend the Universe. Now the man who could comprehend the Universe would ipso facto comprehend God, and be ipso facto a Super-God, able to dethrone him, and in the arrogance of his intellectual conceit full ready to make the attempt."
- from The Art of Reading by Arthur Quiller-Couch

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