M Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Welcome to All Literary Book Blog Hoppers

Is Literature Therapeutic?

I like The Literary Book Blog Hop a lot.    Only a small percent of book bloggers post on classics or literature from outside the popular main stream.   The Literary Book Blog Hop helps us find each other.

Every week the blog hosts propose an interesting question for us-here is this week's question:

Discuss Bibliotherapy. Do you believe literature can be a viable form of therapy? Is literary writing more or less therapeutic than pop lit or nonfiction? 

My answer is well yes for us it may be.   If this question slightly altered were posed on a hop for skate boarders they would say skate boarding is their therapy, the same for flower growers, lovers of French food and so on.   One of the best forms of therapy is doing something you love that has nothing to do with what ever is troubling you.   Sometimes if I feel a bit sad I just like to 
sit with my cats.    


But in defense of literature, the best way to escape from a mental trap or fantasy that has gotten a hold of us is through an attachment to something outside of us.   It seems more likely that great literature can do that than pop fiction.   In order for this to work for us I think we have to prepare ourselves for times of troubles by stocking our minds with the best there is in our culture.   Read and understand enough great literature and maybe you will not need therapy.   Just a thought.

I will follow back all who follow me and return all comments-


Mel u

6 comments:

C.B. James said...

I think I have the opposite view. More popular fiction provides me the 'therapy' I link with escape. More classic fiction provides things like insight, revelation. Things that are unsettling as often as they are 'theraputic.'

Great literature shakes me up.

C.B. James said...

I think I have the opposite view. More popular fiction provides me the 'therapy' I link with escape. More classic fiction provides things like insight, revelation. Things that are unsettling as often as they are 'theraputic.'

Great literature shakes me up.

Em said...

I think that you're right in pointing that whatever we love doing can act as therapy. Similarly, I think this applies fo the type of books.
Sitting with your cats... Animal love is a great form of therapy as well. I find that helping the powerless souls helps me to cope with this cruel world.

Susan (Reading World) said...

Reading is a wonderful way to deal with stress. (Like sitting with cats.) Popular fiction, respected literature, even compelling nonfiction can all work for me depending on my current state of mind. But I recognize that I'm fortunate that I'm stressed out by...stress. There are a lot worse problems to have, and I don't know how effective literature can be for those.

Jillian said...

Great answer.

Mads and Kelli said...

I totally agree with your last statement... read enough and you may not need therapy. Of course, that is not 100% of the time true, but I do think that literature provides the necessary escape from the stress of life that can cause depression.... so if we escape the stress, can we also escape the depression?

I think so.
And I also think it keeps people from making poor choices. Watching characters grapple with difficult decisions and then deal with the consequences that follow wrong decisions both help us (as the readers) to be a bit more thoughtful when the time comes for us to decide something of importance....