As a teacher I have never been fond of sublime questions. What is truth? What is literature? When I think of the latter question I content myself with the answer that a work of literature is a book I would happily read twice. Or even more often. I read a crime novel only when I buy one at the airport before a transatlantic flight, and I discard it on arrival. But I can’t count how often I have read TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, WB Yeats’s Among School Children and Jane Austen’s Emma. Brahms, when Carmen was first produced in Vienna, in 1876, went to see it 20 times.
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