It was always cause for celebration when we happened upon islands of terra firma in the ocean of verbiage. Reading substantive works during the years of censorship was a form of refuge, a suspension of the falsities that had elbowed their way into house and home. One good book in my bag was recompense for all the clichés that had to be endured. We can use literature to be hard on our fellow humans, but if we truly learn to read we can use it to forgive them and revel in their beauty. Since my gimnázium days I have believed that the constant discussion of substantive texts is what keeps humanity going.

-A Guest in My Own Country