it is usual to pay tribute to the power of literature to remake reality, teach us how to feel, and stuff. let me just say, i think the efficacy of such measures is limited. but really the most hyperbolic claptrap goes down easily. jonathan taylor in the tls september 12:
No longer enthralled by landscape, no longer "dwelling" in it, modern human beings, it woukd seem, stand homelessly apart from it. What writers like Hardy, [Arthur] Ransome and Lawrence manage to do, as heidegger might expect, is to reconnect their readers with the earlier, more transcendent response to nature: through their writings, readers re-learn how to dwell.
honestly, i like swallows and amazons more than i like jude the obscure. but as i cast back to re-call how i felt after i read them, oh you know i dragged my ass out to face another day, got a flat tire on the way to work or whatever. i mean, i guess people are continually having their whole selves and realities transformed by reading novels?