Several years ago, I bought Will Durant’s anthology of Western philosophy. Around the same time, I also purchased a similar book on Indian philosophy. Ever since I purchased them, I have been meaning to read these books. I still haven’t read them, but I hope to get there someday.
Non-fiction books on philosophy are hard to read – they are several lifetime’s worth of wisdom condensed into a book. Like potent medicine, they ought to be consumed slowly. Pop too many pills at once, and you are left with a headache.
I have managed to read several other books on my bookshelf – some of them multiple times:
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- The short stories of Anton Chekov
- Farewell my Friend by Rabindranath Tagore
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
These books are categorized as fiction in a bookstore. However, they are philosophical texts in disguise. Their authors are stalwarts who have employed the vehicle of fiction to make their philosophical essence easier to consume and digest.
The implications are two-way here
- Thoughtfully crafted fiction can serve as an alternative source for philosophical truth
- Fiction turns hollow when isn’t wrapped around a kernel of philosophy