Great writing transports one vicariously to realms that the reader would not otherwise experience.
One of these areas is physical: ancient, modern, or futuristic. A great writer can bring the past into the present and make the reader experience the culture, the locale, the people of the time. Jean Auel’s great novels come to mind.
Another region is the pschological realm: Again great writing conveys us into the minds of characters giving us a better understanding of our motives, our passions, our wants, and our needs. Crime and Punishment is a good example.
Then there is the sociological realm where great writing gets the reader involved in the world of crime, or romance, or poverty, or wealth, and many other social situations, problems and solutions. Charles Dickens was such a writer.
The cultural region is another area where great writing has an impact, particularly authors from other ethnicities that help us to understand the mores and viewpoints that are different.
Finally we enter the political sphere. Here again, great writing points out the good and bad of different ideologies, political parties, governments. It introduces us to the search for power and influence, the good and the bad, the acceptable and the unacceptable.
Great writing occurs in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc. Great writers abound, and each reader has his or her favorite.
Charles O. Goulet has a BA in history and a BEd in English literature. He has written several historical novels that are available from Amazon.com and other bookstores.
His website is http://www.telusplanet.net/public/go1c
His blog is http://go1c.blogspot.com