Occasional Cafe

Richard Flanagan on the Autology of Literature

Novelist Richard Flanagan says English-language culture tends to see literature as a moral guide. If that were true, literature would issue from an external vantage point – a God-like perch from which it observes and describes us and offers us guidance on how to live:

“But literature cannot do that, it doesn’t do that. It is of life, and part of life. And therefore it cannot escape life, and all it can do is remind us of the chaos at the heart of things, and in that chaos remind us that we’re not alone.”


Source: Bausells, M. ‘Richard Flanagan on Love, Life and Writing’, The Guardian, 26 September 2015.