Knowing the great works

Recently, I was embarrassed when I couldn't remember that Cervantes is famous for writing Don Quixote. But, when I reflected on this later, I realized many people are ignorant of great works outside of literature. So, why should books be any different than a mathematical theorem or scientific experiment? Arguably Alan Turing changed the course of history by developing a theoretical underpinning for computing as we know it. But despite such a monumental contribution, many people have no idea who he was or how important his work is.

While I wish I was more familiar with great works of literature, I also wish that people who call attention to holes in my knowledge would pause and recognize that they too are likely ignorant of great works that have changed the course of history. No field is inherently better than another.