Sunday, September 28, 2008

The power of literature

Ideas, language and human being are interconnected. An idea may become real and take form just as a person may turn into an idea and extend into other dimensions of life little known from the outside.

Before you became, you were an idea in the mind of God. Then you turned into a soul and acquired body. That body will perish but the soul might live on. In the meanwhile you may have generated ideas which, just like you, will become entities in their own right. Hence the power of literature.

Dabbling with theories of criticism seems to be poor harvest. A more proper aim for the study of literature could be to become literature itself and experience the miracle of changing forms - from human to word, from word to idea and then getting back into one's skin.

Through this acquire the power to create, not illusions but realities unknown before.

The picture shows detail from a painting by Tabassum Khalid (2005) depicting Iqbal's encounter with the Ultimate Reality in Javidnama (1932)

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