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Salipot, Renee Adrianne P.

MWF (12:00-1:00)

BS Electronics Engineering

Dear Sir Mario Vargas Llosa,

I am here to say that I am very grateful that my professor has recommended to read your essay
Literature and Life to class. Though it was lengthy and contains the need of a dictionary for the
profound words you have used, I didnt regret spending an hour to understand it by heart. I must say that I
was moved by one of the paragraphs of your essay.
I would like to argue against the idea of literature as a luxury pastime and in favour of the view
that it is one of the most enriching activities of the mind, and indispensible activity for the formation of
citizens in a modern, democratic society, a society of free individuals, and, for that reason, it should be
instilled in children from an early age by their families and be taught as a basic discipline throughout the
education system. We already know that the opposite is true, that literature is shrinking and even
disappearing from the school curriculum.
Though very short and the meaning can be caught easily on the surface, I would like to say that
the argument in that paragraph is very much true and I guess this is where you have started to instill of
what literature is becoming today. I, as an admirer of novels, believe on the relevance of this kind of art.
Having the same perspective of literature is one of the most enriching activities of the mind, I consider as
an instructor on the things that my professors couldnt give me. Giving me an epiphany after every book
closed on the things that I can only get from it. I know its hard to explain such relationship with a piled
papers but I know you, yourself, is also a reader and knows what I am talking about. Starting from that
argument literature can free us from the chains of ignorance. As I have said earlier I see it as an instructor
and I guess from that point the knowledge I have accumulated will be my device to use in communicating
my thoughts, ideas and feelings to others. It will give me the morale to stand up to what I believe in. I am
very glad and thankful that my parents have provided me the opportunity to send me to schools with
libraries of good collections and read such good literature and because of that reading has become a part
of me. To my regret, I cant deny that the advancement of technology these days has somehow drifted us
away from the tangible materials of literature. I admit that I was carried away with the development too.
From the usual habit of holding a book in my hand, I now see myself scrolling up and down a touch
screen to get updates from social media. After reading your essay, it saddened me to think that I was not
able to triumph over the challenges of the progressing world. From that, it is also correct that together

with the speeding society, the main foundation of knowledge has been slowly straying away from their
main objective. Educational institutions should nurture and cultivate its students. From what I am seeing
today, school has become a training center to get a good vocation in the future. Though, reading is still
part of the curriculum, honestly as a student, most of us read because it is a requirement. Then I realized
and asked myself, What about learning?, I guess school is just all about passing and finishing the course
and later on fly to apply our chosen fields, for a better living of course. It seems like it has been
everybodys connotation when it comes to attending classes. By that I realized, that in some ways, school
has failed to instill in our minds that they are an institution for learning, for enlightenment of our minds. I
believe that literature contributes a lot with this concern. Reading as a requirement for a course is good,
but the ability to inculcate in our hearts that reading literature is so much more than that and being able to
convince us to continue that just through school but also through the different forms of literature is the
best indicator that school has been able to educate us.
Like you, I am also worried about the danger of literature shrinking. It will be an experience
taken away from the future generations. I also do hope that everyone will see literature the way that you
do, that it is something essential and a must. It is a pleasure of mine to have read such powerful essay of
yours. Thank you for developing my perspective towards literature. It was such a great experience being
moved by you.

Renee Adrianne Salipot