Emotional Content

One of my English teachers once said about a book I loathed: “It’s a brilliantly constructed novel.”  – I could not believe my ears and found something profoundly wrong with the statement. Only now do I realise what is truly amiss with such a remark. Truly great literature comes from the heart and soul, it is filled with emotion and feeling; and corny as it may sound this is the truth I have learned. Great novels are not built artificially but issue from an emotional or inspirational source within ourselves. Coleridge was afraid that his opium addiction had lead him to lose his creative powers and so he wrote the Rime of the Ancient Mariner as a story about a man who becomes unable to break the habits of addiction and which (ironically) is one of the most creative and brilliant pieces of poetry of the ages. When I read Heart Of Darkness I did not think: “O – what a remarkably clever literary technique, it appears the physical landscape mirrors the psychological one!” because although this statement may be true there is also an overwhelming emotional content in the language that overpowers the reader and forces him/her to read on. Remember that our emotions, although granted are a weakness at times, can prove our greatest strengths in the world of arts, literature and music.

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