I, The Absolute

Literature – the highest form of art

Posted by itheabsolute on December 28, 2005

If I were to rate all the forms of art, I will rate literature as the highest form. Look at a painting, the impression will last for a moment. Maybe, it will disturb you. Will it change life? I will not agree. Performing arts are the least form of art. I cannot for the life of me understand what a dancer, a classical one or anyone, tries to achieve. I never got inspired. Never will. Come to music. Music has a great ability to inspire and to alter moods. It can engage with people like no other art. And when it rhymes with the heartbeat of the mother’s chest (which is where we first hear music), it can really be impact-ful. But, music fails in leaving a lasting impression. Motion picture is a great invention by man. A well made movie is worth many forms of art. A movie will come close to altering the way we look at things.

Literature. It is something. Wordsworth’s poetry is not just about juxtaposition of words to create beauty; it is about the wisdom that captures the intricacies and subtleties of human relationships and the relationship of the human being with the world. Shakespeare, in fact, wrote all that can ever be written about human emotions and feelings. Literature is the highest form of art and it is the only form which has the power to metamorphose our thinking.

PS: As I was reading the introduction to the book “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson, suddenly felt that my life, more importantly my thinking which drives my life, would have been completely different had I not been an avid reader of books.

8 Responses to “Literature – the highest form of art”

  1. Anonymous said

    aww this is very endearing & quite charmingly written, & while I am not so sure about the idea that literature is the highest form of art, I do agree with you in some respects, it is convincing, I do very much like wordsworth & poetry seems to be the only thing I can get myself to read lately, & the comments saying things like U r not smart enough to use “metamorphose” ( how else could you describe the process by which a metaphor is constructed ?) are just annoying. those who think great art is only a matter of intelligence !! totally & sickeningly obsessed with subject-matter ,,,

    the only thing I would add to your discussion is that literature has been quite a miserable fiasco for the arts for several thousands of centuries, I think. it has done a lot to force its own constructions & medium specificities onto the other arts, & I think there is something to be said about how a dominant art can be so mean. I would also say that the highest form may be a matter of more than how long the aesthetic impression lasts, though it must be important in some way, & maybe there is also the factors of form & medium to be considered, like the abstract ways that they are a vehicle for the impression, & how they affect/agitate the faculty of sensation which perceive that impression,,,

  2. Anonymous said

    R U willing to sign your name to that statement

  3. anuj, sri and rajesh

    thanks for your comments.

    i got influenced more by books than by any other form of art. good amount of learning has been experiential too.


  4. g mahna

    i did visit your blog. got “enlightened”. i also observe that you are on a mission to educate many of the ISBians and bloggers by directing them to your blog. great job.

    though a small person, i would like to clarify one thing. itheabsolute is about ‘my’ views.


  5. Rajesh said


    It’s just his opinion & he is entitled ot it.



    As for literature being the highest form, I would disagree. I think it has to be Movies. Much more powerful than literature and less exhauting than reading :))


  6. sri said

    completely agreed.
    its the reading that makes a mind evolve more. very recently reag Good To Great. Realised that there are many things which i considered as small and negligible have so much importance in corporate culture.
    same like anuj.
    wanna pickup pace and make it for the lost time of my life. :- )

  7. Anuj said

    Well cant agree less on the importance of reading books. How I wish I had started this much earlier in my life, but better late than never !! I am trying to catch up fast and make up for the lost time 🙂

  8. G. Mahna said

    You do not seem to have sufficient insights to talk about such ‘sensitive’ issues like literature, wisdom, ‘the power to metamorphose our thinking’ etc. How stupid it is to rank various forms of human expression according to your whims and fancies! Visit my blog and gain some insights…


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