Literature and Us

Mankind has always struggled to know about the past, there is always an ongoing quest for knowledge about history, be it a religious scripture or classical literature by different writers, man is keen to know it all. History makes us more vulnerable to the experiences in the future and warns us of not repeating the same mistakes as done by people before us. Today, when Pakistan allows foreign nations to trade, it is more careful of not making the same mistake that was made by the Mughals in 1608. That is only possible through extensive knowledge of history. However, history is an amalgamation of different incidents while for a detailed study of anything we need to grasp it by its roots. Literature steps in there. Hazel Stewart Albernson, professor at Department of Comparative Literature, University of Wisconsin, describes literature as, “It is the autobiography of races or nations, revealing spontaneously and directly their ideals and ambitions, their hopes and their fears.” Stewart describes literature as a next step on the road of learning history as literature is the words extracted by the deep penetration in a society.

Stewart further elaborates his concept of describing literature as a more elaborative form of history as when he says, “But its literature molded and shaped over centuries, gives us a far more intimate understanding of the guiding spirit of its people.” On the ongoing pandemic situation, literature has provided us with an escape from the real world and also provided us with the skills to live through the pandemic by having the written content during previous pandemics. ​​literature paves our way for knowing the intimate psychology of man. It grasps the attention of a reader in the most fitting of ways. Today, when the world is going through a pandemic, literature allows us to flee this horrific world by reading the theory of life and death. Literature is the one that makes a man more alive and makes him feel his connection in the world and its people.