Why Literature Needs Freedom

Written by Travel & Daily Life Staff |
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In some heavily censored countries, freedom of literature seems surreal, almost unattainable. However, for most writers elsewhere in the world, literature itself, either reading or creating it, always alludes to freedom. Literature is the only known medium used for conveying maintaining and appreciating liberty between readers and writers. When compared to other forms of art, writing is more modest, entirely relying on words. To understand the importance of freedom in literature, consider the case of a movie adapted from a novel. By watching a movie, say Gone With the Wind, viewers will experience Gable Clark as Butler Rhett and Leigh Vivien as O'Hara Scarlett. But when they read Margaret Mitchell's novel, they have the freedom to imagine O'Hara Scarlett and Butler Rhett as anyone. Besides, the line "The sun rises" will be interpreted or imagined differently by a range of different readers but a movie scene involving the sunrise can be understood the same way with all viewers. This explains why literature a free form of art both for readers and writers.

Sadly, publishing isn't always related to freedom. Some governments have special boards that censors and prohibits publication of some literary works. In Burma, for instance, it can take two to three years to get permission to publish a novel. Getting permission doesn't mean you have the freedom to publish whatever you please. The literary work is subjected to heavy editing to the point of distorting the intended storyline. For this reason, some writers decide to abandon it because of extensive editing while others produce their work outside the country and smuggle it back at home. In such situations, it becomes harder to achieve the essential freedom and pluralism both in the press and literature.

For writers, the creativity found in their writing always aids in expanding the boundaries of freedom allowed by censorship.

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Author: Travel & Daily Life Staff
Travel & Daily Life is an ezine (online magazine) and community for writers, photographers, and communicators.
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Card image cap P. S. Remesh Chandran - The article elaborates on literature produced in conditions free of fear. But there indeed is a branch of literature produced under total fear- prison literature. And also there is literature produced under tyranny states and dictatorships. As Writerly Words Staff points out, freedom is desirable, but not inevitable, for writing. Writing can even be done secretly, under any regime, unless it is a regime which employs such heinous and comprehensive measures as installing no-shut-off Tele-screens in homes like we see in George Orwell’s 1984. Publishing is the problem. Jawaharlal Nehru's world famous classics including 'Glimpses of World History' were written from British jails in India. Jeffrey Archer’s volumes of Prison Diaries are another example. It is even joked that incarcerating fine writers is a way to get fine books from them. I hope Writerly Words Staff will enlarge this article, covering more angles.
Card image cap Mark Pringle - Great article!

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