The love-hate relationship between literature and film

Are there any two fields of study with a love-hate relationship as fierce as that of literature and film? These fields are so often pitted against each other, despite their many similarities—or maybe because of them.

At the same time, it sometimes seems as though it should be impossible for one person to love literature and film equally because there are just so many differences between the two. Reading is mostly a personal, fragmented, and time-consuming activity; watching a movie, on the other hand, tends to be a communal, non-stop experience that rarely lasts longer than an hour or two, three.

It sometimes seems as though people are not supposed to love literature and film equally, either. Bookworm or movie maniac: the choice is yours, as long as you make one. It’s “the book is so much better than the movie!” vs. “books are boring” and “TV? I much prefer a good read,” vs. “I don’t have time for reading”.

Maybe these two forms of art simultaneously resemble and contradict each other to a point where peaceful coexistence is impossible. But why should it?

Shakespeare & Company, a stunning English bookstore in Paris.

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