Patrick O'Brian Discussion Forum

Re^2: O'Brian on the power of novels

Brian O'Patrick

That's it!  You hit a hole in one!  Thank you very much!


On Mon Mar 27, Guest wrote
>On Mon Mar 27, Brian O'Patrick wrote
>> I'm looking for a passage from one of the books where O'Brian,
>> through Stephen Maturin, reflects on the wonderful ability of
>> novels to plumb the depths of what it means to be human, much
>> more effectively than any textbook or factual treatise can. My
>> fervent hope is that someone here will say, "Oh, sure, that's
>> right here." I need it for a literacy narrative in school. It
>> isn't the end of the world (nor even The Far Side of the World
>> lol) if I can't find the passage, but it would certainly be nice
>> to have since it perfectly supports a point I'm making.
>> Thank you in advance,

>From "The Nutmeg of Consolation":
>   ‘Sir,’ said Stephen, ‘I read novels with the utmost pertinacity.
>   I look upon them – I look upon good novels – as a very valuable
>   part of literature, conveying more exact and finely-
>   distinguished knowledge of the human heart and mind than almost
>   any other, with greater breadth and depth and fewer constraints.
>   Had I not read Madame de La Fayette, the Abbé Prévost, and the
>   man who wrote Clarissa, that extraordinary feat, I should be
>   very much poorer than I am; and a moment’s reflection would add
>   many more.’

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