“It’s hard to change people’s minds with information and rational arguments. I think what really changes people are experiences,” says Ben Fountain
in an interview about his new book, Beautiful Country Burn Again
. This struck me specially because recently, when I gave a reading, a local man who is fond of bragging to me that he never reads fiction came up and said, “I read the Narnia books when I was a child, but now I read for information. Do you read fiction?” I said, "Yes." I half wish I had thought to say, “Eustace Clarence Scrubb must have been your favorite character,” but what I really
wish I could have thought to say was, "Yes, because vicarious experience informs the heart."
Fiction matters, poetry and music matter, drama and dance matter, representational painting and abstract sculpture matter—all the arts matter because the world is a better place the more we expand our hearts and minds. (more…)