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Books aren’t medicine. They’re more powerful than that

If we accept that literature can heal, we have to admit that it can harm, too

30 April 2016

9:00 AM

30 April 2016

9:00 AM

Who can forget the terrible climax of Howards End, when Leonard Bast is killed by a deluge of books? Death by books holds a horrible irony for poor Bast, as he had thought they were his salvation, seeking to escape ‘the abyss’ of poverty by reading Ruskin in the evening and trying to impress the middle-class Schlegel sisters by listing his favourite titles.

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