What is the point of art? To teach? To guide? To explore themes through story?
Is it to take a reader to a far-off land? To show someone how the world looks through my eyes? Or is it a way of letting someone enter my mind?
Is this what literature can do? Can it allow us to enter into the mind of another, to truly see the world through their eyes? To see the thoughts they have, to feel the emotions they feel?
Yet, thoughts are not gleaned from a place of skepticism. Stories are not understood from a place of pride. Emotions are not felt from a place of judgement.
Learning descends on the humble. Emotion visits the compassionate. Understanding visits those who listen.
How can this be done? How can I learn to appreciate art? How can I understand what the artist wishes to say? Through submitting to what the artist creates.
A Star Wars novel will not approached in the same way as a classic. A comic book should warrant a different approach than a Dostoevsky novel. Submit to what the author offers and accept what they give.
How should I do this? By being unafraid of what the artist offers. I need not agree with what I am given. I merely listen to what the artist offers. Through this place of acceptance and humility, I am able to connect with the other. Able to learn from that which is not me.
That will not happen if I am haughty. That will not happen if I am superior to the art I intake. It will only happen through submission.