I have been discussing the whole idea of taste in our time. Is there such a thing as taste anymore? Good taste? Bad taste? Do you have taste?
Now, what about taste in literature, since this is a blog on living the literary life. Let’s work this idea of taste, good and bad, over the next few posts. I have several topics I will post. They are all simply for your consideration. Let’s look at all sides of the issue. Then see what you think.
As with anything in A Literary Life, I don’t intend to prescribe. But I do think matters are never so simple about anything that we can as thinking people just say it doesn’t matter.
Take a moment and give your comments. But just don’t settle on anything permanently. Be open to ideas.
But before I sign out, let me leave you with a quote from an old book from 1909 by Arnold Bennett, the eminent Victorian, called Literary Taste: How to Form it with Detailed Instructions for Collecting a Complete Library of English Literature:
“It is well to remind ourselves that literature is first and last a means of life, and that the enterprise of learning how best to use this means of life. People who don’t want to live, people who would sooner hibernate than feel intensely, will be wise to eschew literature. They had better, to quote from the finest passage in in a fine poem, ‘sit around and eat blackberries.’ The sight of a ‘common bush afire with God’ might upset their nerves.”
If you want simple answers, read this book. It will settle all questions for you if you are easily persuaded. I want to explore much more complex issues than Mr. Bennett had in mind in upcoming posts. Follow this blog and stay tuned.