“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”*

*the opening sentence of The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (1953).

From: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (2011), by Jeanette Winterson:

“The more I read, the more I felt connected across time to other lives and deeper sympathies. I felt less isolated. I wasn’t floating on my little raft in the present; there were bridges that led over to solid ground. Yes, the past is another country, but one that we can visit, and once there we can bring back the things we need.

Literature is common ground. It is ground not managed wholly by commercial interests, nor can it be strip-mined like popular culture – exploit the new thing then move on.

There’s a lot of talk about the tame world versus the wild world. It is not only a wild nature that we need as human beings; it is the untamed open space of our imaginations.

Reading is where the wild things are.”

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