“So what are you reading?” Janosch asks.
“The Old Man And The Sea.”
“Is it literature?”
“I think so.”
“So what’s literature?”
“Literature is where you read a book and feel you could put a line mark under every line because it’s true.”
“Because it’s true? I don’t get it.”
“When every sentence is simply right. When it reveals something about the world. And life. When every phrase gives you the feeling that you would have behaved or thought exactly the same way the character in the book does. That’s when it’s literature.”
Another life-enhancing dialogue between young teenage philosophers, Janosch and Lebert, this time trying to figure out the meaning of ‘literature’. And I’m glad to say, they get it spot on. Real literature carries inside it the lining of life. Something lived, something tasted, something suffered. Lebert sums this up with a grace beyond his years.