The Last Word, on Jumel Terrace Books
“Reading’s the liberating device because it makes the world yours. It’s like Miss Metcalf says in my book The Spyglass Tree: windows on the world. You see, when you sit in the library you own it. How can you segregate a guy who’s coming to terms with the whole world? If your acceptance of the ancestral imperative is to qualify as a hero, you got to regard jeopardy as an opportunity. You see a dragon, see, it separates the men from the boys. What you get from education, from reading, is you get seven league boots, a longer stride.
People who are really involved with books aren’t bookworms, they’re more thoroughly involved than bookworms, because they’re constantly applying practical significance to books. Literature as basic equipment for living, Kenneth Burke used to call it. Without that, without a sense of form, without a sense of purpose, without a sense of beginning, middle, and end, what we have is insanity.”
Albert Murray to KT