Professor Amy Hungerford, Yale University: “You may have noticed…that I am very fond of reading aloud to you from these novels. I’m very fond of reading out passages. I do it a lot. Why DO I do it? Well, there are two reasons. One, because I want you to hear literary art. Literary art is a VERBAL art. And I think too often we ONLY read it silently. Probably not since you were children has someone read to you so much. So, to get a sense of that you have to have it in your ear, and feel the sound and the rhythm, and the quality, the tembre, the expression of the voice that we have in these novels.

Our writer for today thinks so highly of that capacity of literature to embody the human voice that he imagines a whole religious world around it. That’s gonna be the gist of my argument today.

But then there’s a second, sort of less mystical reason… and that’s that these ARE the facts of a literary argument. These words that I give to you. It’s like, if you’re in an astronomy lecture…they’re gonna give you some facts about the composition of a planet or its atmosphere or whatever. Those are the facts for that field. For THIS field, these are the facts.”

A story as an example of a literary verbal art:

Professor Hungerford’s Yale University lecture:


You might enjoy reading my collection of 10 stories (Amazon Affiliate Link) because you enjoy literary fiction.


Posted by Frank Marcopolos

Frank Marcopolos founded "The Whirligig" literary magazine in 1999, which has been called "a landmark, demonstrating the power of the literary underground." It has been said that "you get this true lion-roaring sense that Editor Frank Marcopolos knows what he likes, and how to read, and how to publish, and he has guts, and eats insects on Wheaties with bleach." His long-form fiction has been reviewed with such praise as "thorough-goingly entertaining" and "highly readable...recalls the style of Michael Chabon or John Irving. A literary gem that should not be missed." A broadcasting-school graduate, his unique literary-audio work has been featured in movie trailers, scholastic environments, and on YouTube, with one of his audiobooks achieving over 100,000 "views" there.