(Note: what I’m about to discuss is based on how the system currently works in Greece. TLDR is: you study Literature -> you teach Literature -> ??? -> profit?)
(Second note: I do NOT imply that teaching as a job is not important. What I’m saying is… well, read it and see for yourselves!)
I’ve had this pesky feeling for some years now. It first came to me around the third year of my studies. It’s that feeling of being totally useless. I mean, what is the purpose of studying Literature, when Sciences run all over the place, progressing each day? Why should I have to learn all about X or Y poet/writer/whateverthefuck, while my friends in other departments work on something that will actually impact our everyday lives?
I still hate having to learn all that. Maybe it’s because it is all so formulated, I don’t know. Yet I now believe there IS a purpose for us too. We are useful. Not just because we are going to be teachers and professors, but because we can offer something just as important as, say, a new phone that also works as a coffee machine (wink wink).
What we, who study Literature, have to offer is our very soul. If we choose to put our knowledge into practical use (writing), and create something, then we have offered the world what can be called ‘food for thought’, ‘art’ or even ‘entertainment’. We can become the much needed thinkers and philosophers of our times. We can create works that will educate and intrigue the minds of others. We can scream ‘ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?’ like Maximus. And so on. Think I’m exaggerating? Damn right I am! And I’m not done yet!
Literature is one of the best inventions of mankind. That’s because it can make everything around it important. From God(s) to ourselves, from ourselves to the tinest ant, Literature can be used to glorify, to transcend bountaries and push imagination forward. As a person who strives to become a better writer, I feel obligated to find a purpose in what I do, and a purpose in what I study. Otherwise, it’s a little more useless than a comb for bald people. In the end, that feeling of my department of studies being all worthless and a dead-end career choice becomes lessened. Why was I feeling like that again?
I raise my mug to all of you, who chose to study Literature, regardless of whatever the situation is for this field in your country! See you all next time!