'The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life or better to endure it.' Dr Samuel JohnsonReading has always fulfilled these aims for me. The sheer enjoyment of other people's writing makes me glow. There is the pleasure of escapism: when I'm deep in a novel, I think of little else. It's also the best spur to my own creativity.
I listen to children reading at a Primary School every week. The power of the subjects their literature explores never ceases to amaze. Through it they seem to feel safe to imagine and confront some very challenging situations.
So I jumped at this course Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing which takes Dr Johnson's premise as its starting point. It's free, online and offered by the University of Warwick via Future Learn. The start date is 1st February 2016. Most of my friends from our school A level English Literature group have signed up too. We haven't discussed literature together since ... the last century!! I'm so excited by this opportunity.
The themes over six weeks are:
Depression and bipolar
Ageing and Dementia
all explored through the work of a range of writers.
The reading material is provided online but the course organisers suggest that, if you are raring to go, you could take a look at one or two of the following:
Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility
Rachel Kelly: Black Rainbow
Melvyn Bragg: Grace and Mary
Mark Haddon: Polar Bears
William Shakespeare: King Lear, Hamlet, Titus Andronicus
An anthology of poetry of your choice.
What an invitation!
All of the wonderful photos on this blog are taken by Andrew Holman