All books exist to convey some sort of idea, if nonfiction (philosophy etc) can convey a larger number of more complex ideas more clearly, then doesn't that make fiction intrinsically less valuable in most instances?
>>7645870 >All books exist to convey some sort of idea Not precise, the idea as a tool or the idea as a means >more complex ideas more clearly some times reading pure philosophy is not the easiest way to understand that point of view. >intrinsically less valuable in most instances Fiction is viewed as an exercise in aesthetics, in the same sense a painting should not be compared to a mathematical diagram. This is not an intrinsic property of artistic modes of expression. Since we are blinded by our whatever you want to call it, one form is not more "valuable" than the other.
You're on the right track but you need to read more of the old style of lit crit so you can understand the value of literature.
Your way of seeing it only makes sense of ideas are simple to transmit and easy to circumscribe and describe. In reality ideas are complex, subtle, and most importantly they have lots of outward connections to other ideas and contexts in the mind. Literature is a way to transmit ideas along with all that, or at least with enough of its outlines that the reader can make the necessary linkages in his own mind, and even so that he can contrast and see what linkages are different. Also, some ideas are half-formed, too emotional or instinctive or something like that, too far back in the consciousness to be easily pinned down and mapped out. Literature allows the thinker to reach down into his own mind and show you the formative instinct, the impulse, the primordial soup that some idea is trying to emerge from. Some things are unstated in explicit non-fiction because they are assumed and implicit, but literature brings so much baggage with it, so much of the author's lifeworld, that it can allow access into ideas that would otherwise be lost or meaningless through lack of context.
Exegesis of literature (and other things taken as literature) also allows us to experiment with our own ideas in relation to all of the above, even when it's aside from the author's original intent. This is a more difficult thing, and a lot of people misunderstand its value these days, but it's important.
Although all books inevitably convey some specific or general idea, intentional or not, that is not necessarily their only reason for existence.
>if nonfiction (philosophy etc) can convey a larger number of more complex ideas more clearly
Even if it can, that doesn't mean it always does so, or if writing books like that are actually worth the effort, in the end.
> doesn't that make fiction intrinsically less valuable in most instances
Even if all books existed singly for the purpose you described, I believe you're incorrect. This analogy is inane, but consider the difference between Neuroscience and Psychology. They have the same basic purpose, as you think books do, but even though Neuroscience has a far greater potential for discovery than its counterpart, that doesn't mean the easier, cheaper, and faster study of psychology is intrinsically less valuable even half the time.
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