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Amgad Muhammad

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What's the point of novels?

All of us would agree that reading for facts and knowledge widens our perspective, but what does reading novels do?
Do we read novels for the sole purpose of entertaining ourselves or does it make us intelligent in some way?
How can one take lessons from a story that was made up and characters that do not exist?

Is reading novels just a waste of time? a sort of video game for those who like to read?


Topics: books

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    May 19 2013: It is all about reflection. Writers reflect about an experience they had or a manifestation of how the world should be. And in all cases, it gives an eye on human behavior; how to see life from the two sides. Plus we usually don't have the time to live all the experiences there is to live. So novels transfer these hypothetical experiences and wishes through an emotionally appealing context. For me, it is easier to relate to a fictional character experience than a biography of the world's greatest whatever! No offense intended but usually real biographies tend to exaggerate the writer's agony and accomplishments and it is always only one side of the story.
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      May 19 2013: I'd recommend you read Ghandi's autobiography. He told his story in a way that would make you feel he was so ordinary, and that's why he's who he's :)
      Thanks for your time Shereen!
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        May 22 2013: I have read Gandhi's autobiography. One thing I ascertained about him is that he was not an ordinary man by any means. The way he lived his personal life, the way he fasted and the ideas he had about celibacy as a married man were unusual to say the least.
        He was a good man and wanted peace and harmony for everyone but you should read his autobiography again. You will discover he was unique in many ways.
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          May 22 2013: Yes, I agree with everything you said. What I meant was that when he crafted his words to convey his story he didn't exaggerate. It felt normal to him to do what he was doing.

          When I watched documentaries and other material about Gandhi I felt they were trying to make him look idealistic, they tried to hide his imperfections, which in all cases made him who he is. I loved this autobiography in particular cause it made me feel that everybody can be Gandhi, that those great characters were not magically better than the rest of us. I think this is the greatest thing a great man can teach, how to be great by example.
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        May 22 2013: Yes, it is true that often Gandhi is idealised but he never wanted that. He was one of the great people, not everyone can be a Gandhi. But he was a human being as well. He lived his life as he chose and he believed in everyone's right to do that. He did what he did with his life because he felt that it was the only thing he could do.

        He did it for his country and people.

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