“Genuine literature informs while it entertains. It manages to be both clear and profound. It has the magical power of merging causality with purpose, doubt with faith, the passions of the flesh with the yearnings of the soul. It is unique and general, national and universal, realistic and mystical.”
Today our lives are filled with the chatter of news reports, gossip, jokes, anecdotes — but we still long for stories that speak to our deepest dreams and dreads, literature which as defined by Isaac Bashevis Singer in the quote above “informs while it entertains.” He crafted countless tales that satisfy this need. The author, who was born on this day in 1902, died in 1991. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.
To Name This Day:
Go to the library and read one or two stories in The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1982). Here are portraits of Polish Jews in rural communities and modern-day individuals struggling with questions of love in New York City. Singer’s gift for celebrating the mystery of existence and the ways people get caught in the crossfire between angels and demons shines forth in each of these stories.
Also today, make it a point to remember what the Singer once recommended: “Life is God’s novel. Let Him write it.”