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Love, Reason and Imagination: Samuel Schirra Interviews Joseph Pearce
The following is from two interviews between Mr. Schirra and Mr. Pearce about Mr. Pearce’s philosophy of reading, writing, and analyzing literature, as well as his own experiences as a writer. An abridged version of this interview was first published in Christendom College’s Spring 2023 edition of In Corde.
PART I: ON READING
SS: Mr. Pearce, what is the purpose of reading literature?
JP: The humanities show us our humanity. Literature shows us who we are in our relations with our neighbours, including our closest neighbour, God Himself. Literature reflects the three facets of the essence of humanity: we are homo viator, the pilgrim on the quest for heaven; we are homo superbus, the proud man who refuses the quest; and we are anthropos, the man who looks up in wonder at the beauty of the cosmos. We are on a journey, or we refuse the journey, which makes our lives a story ofa journey taken or a journey forsaken. Our lives are a life-story. We are also called to see the goodness, truth and beauty of Creation, looking in wonder at God’s Presence in His creation. The journey is reflected in narrative literature; the wonder in lyrical literature, generally speaking. And, of course, narrative literature has been sanctified by God Himself in salvation history, which is His story of salvation, and in the fictional narratives that Jesus tells us in the form of parables.