Literature & Fiction Textbooks
“Hwæt!” So began the national epic of the English, the heroic poem extolling the exploits of Beowulf in alliterative verse. Nigh unrecognizable to the modern English speaker, Beowulf is regarded as the starting point for the study of English literature. Why does a poem over a thousand years old and written in English so ancient as to require translation into its modern form enjoy such a vaunted position in English literature? Why all the clamor and adulation for the scrawls of Shakespeare’s quill? What value is to be found in the obtuse archaisms of the Bard’s Elizabethan fictions? What value does any work of poetry or prose, fiction or myth, hold if it not a product of scientific empiricism? To the student, myth and imagination might seem in opposition to history and reason. C.S. Lewis once said to his friend and fellow scholar J.R.R. Tolkien that, “myths were lies and therefore worthless, even though 'breathed through silver'”. Tolkien replied, “No. They are not!” He continued, explaining that myths express truths that cannot be conveyed by other means. Tolkien believed in the inherent, metaphorical truth of myths and fairy tales. Literature and fiction may not be literally true, but through artful symbolism they communicate truths that transcend time and place. Let Bookbyte provide you with literature & fiction that teach timeless and essential truth.