If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? And what would you want to know?
It seems to me that the author plays a kind of secondary role in this whole business of literature. Authors are generally less interesting than their books. After attentively reading a book you shouldn’t really have any questions for the author, aside from the most banal: Do they write in pen or on a laptop? Do they write in the morning or the evening? Do they prefer coffee or tea? Dogs or cats?
Do books serve a moral function, in your view? How so?
I don’t know if I would call it a moral function, but literature definitely teaches empathy and compassion and how to see the world from other points of view. This is a great skill, and a gift that means those who read are smarter, more aware, more capable of understanding complicated matters than those who don’t read.
(Translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft, “Why Olga Tokarczuk Likes to Read T.S. Eliot in Translation,” NYTimes, 2-10-22)
(c) 2021 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved