Art survives whole civilizations and it is what makes savage man civilized; art inspires, impassions and motivates the human mind and spirit to soar higher, to do better than ever before. Writers are artists whose words formed on paper create a literary canvas that lingers long after the writer is gone. If you doubt the truth of those words, call to mind the words trapped in the books of long dead writers, such as the works of Shakespeare, John Milton, Herman Melville, Emily Bronte, each well remembered for the artistry of their words and the depth of their storytelling.
But Art, is an individual thing, it is the visible and palpable exhibition of inner drives and imaginations, a literary Rorschach test for all to see. Writers expose their inner selves when the art of writing is performed by the authentic self. A few examples come to mind: Charles Dickens wrote of deep dark fears possessed by children whose lives were engulfed in poverty and abandonment and his childhood heroes and heroines were all victims of an unfair society that abandoned them to the degradation of work houses after snatching their parents from them. Fyodor Dostoevsky suffered exile as a debtor by a society that had little mercy or pity for the hapless among them, and so the author wrote of hapless souls whose spirits were governed by societal conflicts. In Dostoevsky’s masterpiece work, Crime and Punishment, one can almost feel the pain of the author who transposed his fears and anguish into the character of Raskolnikov whose ill formed conscious was not adequate for the moral conflicts he was tested with. In the famous American story To Kill a Mockingbird, the author Harper Lee writes of a social recluse by the name of Boo Radley and after the book gained international fame, the author slowing slipped from view and became a mystery to the world; perhaps too well aware of how Boo Radley felt and thus able to artfully portray him to the world.
Whether the art is created from words and music or words on paper, it still leads the patron into their own unique caves of emotion and enables them to see with new eyes. In the case of literary art, the imagery is sometimes created from simple words, sparse descriptions that wield powerful effects; or the words themselves can be artistically presented in such a way as to maximize the emotional and social experiences of the reader. The book becomes the stage and the words put on the play, the theater becomes a new world and the reader journeys into new insights.
Not all art is great and not all books are well written, but once in a while, a few great books come along that remain timelessly unforgettable, classics, true works of art, their authors immortalized forever by their work.