The War on Words

Philip Pullman writes in last weekend’s Guardian Review on the fate of literature as democratic activity in an increasingly didactic, theocratic world:

The democracy of reading exists in the to-and-fro between reader and text, when each is free to engage honestly with the other. The democracy of politics needs the same freedom and honesty in the public realm: freedom from lies and distortions about other candidates, honesty about one’s own actions and programmes and sources of information. It’s difficult. It’s strenuous. The sort of effort it takes was never very common, but it seems to be rarer now than it was. It is quite easy for democracies to forget how to read.

Does that last sentence unsettle you as much as it does me?

You were reading The War on Words, a Macrolog entry by MacDara Conroy. It is filed under Words, and was published in November 2004. If you liked what you read here, you can follow this site on Twitter @mcrlg or via reader feed, and find many more entries in the Archives.

Tags: #books #culture #democracy #guardian #opinion #philippullman #politics #profile #quote #reading #theocracy #words

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