Sunday, October 2, 2011

To entertain or enlighten?

"to entertain . . . is one of the two possible reasons to write, or for that matter read. To enlighten and to entertain: what else is there? And while good books — even so-so books — serve both functions, if you ever have to choose one over the other, keep in mind that a book that entertains without enlightening can still be a guilty pleasure, but a book that enlightens without entertaining is algebra."

From Pete Dexter's marvelous review of Jim Harrison's new novel, The Great Leader, in today's New York Times Book Review.