“Non Essential” Readings

Writers are a curious bunch, with a voracious appetite for knowledge and a deep desire to explore the world around them. They are constantly seeking new ideas, perspectives, and insights that will help them better understand the human experience and the world we inhabit. One of the ways in which they do this is by reading widely across canons and disciplines.

The term “canon” refers to a set of works that are considered to be essential or fundamental to a particular field of study or cultural tradition. For example, the Western canon includes works by Shakespeare, Dante, and Goethe, while the scientific canon includes works by Darwin, Newton, and Einstein. While these works are certainly important and worthy of study, they are often not enough to fully capture the complexity and richness of the human experience.

This is where so-called “non-essential readings” come into play. These are the works that are not part of the canon, but which still have the potential to offer valuable insights and perspectives. They may be works of popular fiction, poetry, or philosophy, or they may be obscure texts from lesser-known authors or traditions. Whatever their form, these works can provide a window into the human experience that is often missing from more canonical texts.

As a writer, I have found that some of the most valuable insights and inspirations come from these non-essential readings. By exploring texts from a wide range of disciplines and traditions, I am able to gain a deeper understanding of the world around me and the complexities of the human experience. I am able to see things from new perspectives, challenge my own assumptions and biases, and gain a broader sense of what it means to be human.

Of course, reading widely is not enough in and of itself. As writers, we must also be willing to engage with the material we are reading, to question it, and to push back against it when necessary. We must be willing to take risks, to challenge ourselves, and to explore new ideas and perspectives. Only by doing so can we truly expand our horizons and deepen our understanding of the world.

In conclusion, writers read across canons and disciplines because they understand that the best stuff often comes downstream from so-called non-essential readings. By exploring a wide range of texts and perspectives, writers are able to gain a deeper understanding of the human experience and the world we inhabit. While canonical texts are certainly important, they are often not enough to fully capture the complexity and richness of the world we inhabit. Non-essential readings provide a valuable supplement to these texts, offering new insights and perspectives that can help writers to better understand themselves, others, and the world around them.

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