Literature and the other

What literature does is incorporate the other in all its quirks and peculiarities into the social body. It allows for difference, and often even proclaims it to be genius. It considers difference a sign of courage: the hero is who he chooses to be. Or he fights for his freedom, his ideas, or his aesthetic, as does James Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Amanda Michalopoulou, excerpted in The Guardian