Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity - quote by GK Chesterton
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GK Chesterton on fiction

Literature is a luxury; Fiction is a necessity

Literature is a luxury;
Fiction is a necessity

Some Wednesday wisdom for you from GK Chesterton all the way back in 1901. In the Merriam Webster dictionary literature and fiction are defined as follows.

Literature n. lit·er·a·ture \ ˈli-tə-rə-ˌchu̇r 

      writings in prose or verse; especially writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest

Fiction n. fic·tion \ ˈfik-shən 

        something invented by the imagination or feigned; specifically an invented story 
        fictitious literature (such as novels or short stories) 
        a work of fiction; especially novel
        the action of feigning or of creating with the imagination 

I think what Chesterton meant by these words, is that fiction, the use of imagination to escape reality can be far more essential than an excellent body of literature. Fiction is a place to dream and play at living another life. It is a place to find new worlds within, to explore and go on adventures. Fiction is what we read as children, what we read to our children. Why, when we grow up do we think we should grow out of fiction. There is a snobbery sometimes to calling a work ‘literature’ instead of ‘fiction’.
Each has its talents, both are important and neither should ever be dismissed.

literature is a luxury fiction is a necessity quote by GK Chesterton 1901 copy