Why read? You’d think that with the e-book and the Internet, with Google searching and channel surfing, the experience of curling up with a good book is as archaic as a buggy ride. You’d think, too, that with graphic novels and celebrity memoirs, and with Wikipedia offering their entries in “simple English,” the very idea of literature itself had disappeared and, along with it, the language of craft and cadence that made memorable all writers from Shakespeare to Shaw.
Not so, argues Marjorie Garber, in “The Use and Abuse of Literature,” an immensely readable yet vastly erudite reflection on the history of literary writing, literary criticism and the social value of both. — Seth Lerer reviews Marjorie Garber ‘s Use and Abuse of Literature