Sunday Book-Thought 95

If the present argument is correct, then the dulce et utile dichotomy, which has provided the framework for every discussion of the relationship between philosophy and literature since Plato, is inadequate. Literature must be worthwhile, but its value does not consist in its being either dulce or utile. Literature exercises the intellect rather than the emotions, but it does not instruct in the sense in which philosophy can be said to instruct. Literature does not compete with philosophy, nor does it complement it. Literature and philosophy meet in thematic concepts, but it is not a meeting which leads to marriage or even to holding hands. The relationship is a more distant one: literature and philosophy are neighbours in the same important area of culture.
– Stein Haugom Olsen, The End of Literary Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), p. 195.


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