Saturday, 16 June 2012
Two lectures, similar messages. What did A.C. Grayling and Mario Vargas Llosa have in common? The desire to "Let Anarchy Rule!" Or words to that effect. Grayling's talk was entitled "Reading and Thinking", about the formative function of literature whereby we form and organise our response to the world through the lens of literature. Reflective reading as opposed to light entertainment or diversion. When asked about his views on the effect of Facebook, Twitter and e-books on the state of the nation's literacy, he was positive; his view is that ideas, stories, reflections are the main thing regardless of the medium, and he reminded the audience of the oral/aural traditions of the past. As for any form of control over literature on the web? An emphatic 'no', which was the link between him and Vargas, for whom freedom is vital. Safeguards over the internet should be minimal, he said. Vargas was asked his view on literature and politics and expressed it most neatly; we can use politics as raw material for literature, but the other way round and it becomes propaganda.
Posted by stray frog at 17:48