Literature is the most relaxing thing in my life. It has seen me through tough times, sickness and long hours traveling. It has taught me morality, that the bad guy loses and that it is no dishonor to serve a fool. That compromising your beliefs causes weakness

The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Literature is one of the great achievements of any civilization. It begins with the folk tales, personal achievements and religious texts. It evolves into myth, short stories and theatre/bards. Then true Literature begins to cast itself out of the muck. Literature is the representation of thought in society. Through it, one may learn culture, language and nuance of the civilization that produced it. I came across Goethe’s quote some time ago and wonder, if Twilight the trappings of America’s downfall? Literature represents society, so if popular literature is ‘bad’ is society bad? Or, is Twilight and other types exaggerated?

Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

I make no deception that I am an aspiring novelist. I do not want to write pathetic fictions forgotten to mists. I want to write things I want to read. If I can’t read this and say “WOW! This is awesome!” why should I continue? Whether it is the slow elegance and attention to detail of Ben Bova or the weird prose/word play and psuedo-fast pace of China Mielville, I REQUIRE my books to entertain me. Partly out of a demand for excellence, both of them and for myself, and partly out of a desire to be great.

As a teenager I was so insecure. I was the type of guy that never fitted in because he never dared to choose. I was convinced I had absolutely no talent at all. For nothing. And that thought took away all my ambition too.
Johnny Depp

One of the few quotes that I will ever quote from an actor. When I was young, I thought myself a servant. To God I am a slave, but also a son, and that dualology, and other things besides, caused me to be passive aggressive and very, very weak in character. I thought that the consumption of knowledge would grant me power and authority over my friends. Later, I thought that I didn’t have to do anything, and my ambition withered and I coasted basically all four years of high school. All through out, I realized that my literature was trying to teach me ambition and humbleness, but never weakness. What I was doing and what I was reading were incongruous and besides that I was weak in other areas I may talk about later. It caused anger.
Repression will provoke rebellion.
Hugh Williamson
My own rebellion against God and what I knew aside (He’s winning, He always wins), I was angry at a lot. But I repressed it. Inside, I am a racist bigot with MASSIVE delusions of grandeur. When I am furious I am extremely supportive of castration based on genetics and have a reinforced belief that I am some sort of nobility without a kingdom. I don’t really understand what comes out. I was repressed as a child, see. And things, the negative things, I read sometimes came out. I read of heroes, yes, and villains too. I read their motivations, their loves and their hatreds and everything imprinted on me. The heroism blotted out of my heart in the brief moments fury takes me, and the only thing that has saved me from attempting dominance is the briefness of it, and my own self-control
Do not fall prey to the false belief that mastery and domination are synonymous with manliness.
Kent Nerburn
There is a verse in the Bible. “When I was a child I thought as a child and I acted like a child, but then I put away childish things…” The verse isn’t against, say my love of My Little Pony, but rather a command to stop playing around and do your responsibilities first. While, in my anger, I desired to be the tyrant, I know that tyrants fall and cause suffering. I never truly wanted to be a dictator. The book Redwall has Cluny, a warlord who desires Redwall for himself, he causes suffering and murder. I read of his fall and I rejected that for weakness. I know now that to be manly, to understand deeper mysteries of History and anything I need to focus on, I need to become authoritative, without dominance. I need to be as Moses, the meekest man on earth.
Books inspire me to be this man. From Gormenghast I learn craftiness, and that order is good, but never to the expense of the new. From Redwall and King Arthur, I learn that Right is more important than might, and that while dragons may eat me, I should not bow to them. From Lord of the Rings I learn that the Ring isn’t just a ring, it’s an object of power, and a metaphor besides, that the pride of my heart is what I want, but getting falsely would destroy who I am. From Artemis Fowl I learn that intelligence is nothing if I have not love. And from The Mote in God’s Eye I learn that while the new is fascinating, it can be dangerous, so prepare for it! All this and the Bible gives me strength to be that which I am not and reasons for the morals I hope I follow.
And all this is fueled by a desire to better myself.