The Beauty of Literature

The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My eyes are not enough for me. I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of the many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. I regret that the brutes cannot write books. … [I]n reading great literature I become a thousand men and remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who sees. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do. (C. S. Lewis)

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