Blue Jasmine, 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street were nominated for The Oscars, because they’re all good forms of propaganda on how it is to be alive. There should be just as intense form of celebration as the Oscars for books, because The Booker Prize and Nobel Prize don’t seem to cut it. If they did, we’d all be seeing people in Jolibee burger stores reading books by The New York Review of Books. If people read enough, there’d be no more waste of words, no more people who ruin their lives through facebook and no more meaningless angst.
This lack of readership probably springs from lack of history awareness of literature among readers. If the Philippines can make popular all over the world the heritage cultural practice of weaving and the craftsmanship of Kenneth Cobonpue, why can’t we make such exposure to books by Christopher Priest, Hilary Mantel, Lydia Davis and the guy who wrote Siege Krishnapur.
Fortunately there’s hope. You can still study history of literature from your nearest community college or study comparative literature and start writing a survey of classic literature yourself. Or maybe just stay in your home and read this infographic on guide to classic literature.