In a sense I’ve been going about the Sunday Lit Crit Sermon series backwards, at least compared to the excerpt in today’s post. I’ve searched for mentions of novels, books, theater and film and sought to understand what these citations implied about how we Mormons view literature. But in today’s excerpt Mormon doctrine and teachings, often the basis for the Mormon view, instead are a justification for an interest in literature. Instead of a reaction to literature, this is a claim that there is a direct line from Mormon belief to a love of literature.
I think we sometimes assume that Utah was in some kind of literary isolation from the rest of the world, ignored by national and international authors, except to lampoon Mormons, and populated by few who had any knowledge of or opinion about current notable works. Of course, a minute’s thought and perhaps a little research into the period of Mormon literature’s “Lost Generation” shows that can’t possibly be true.
Still, it sometimes seems a little strange when General Authorities seem to know them personally.