Game two of the Stanley Cup Finals. Let’s go Blackhawks. Yeh-ah!

Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 7:09 pm  Comments (4)  

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  1. Lynn, I have NO idea whatsover what you are talking about, but am happy to note you are back to blogging, although I was a bit perpelxed by your previous statement,

    Too bad postmodernism has gone by the wayside. It had its works of genius.

    Please elaborate.


  2. Orla,

    I don’t know if I am fully back into blogging mode.

    I had just finished reading Barnes’s A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters and started rereading The Name of the rose which I consider to be Postmodern novels. I can’t recall precisely what I was thinking at the time I wrote that. (I should have written it in the post.)

    I do remember thinking that Postmodern novels are occupied with reflection on the nature of narrative and its relation to truth and fiction. Questions such as, can we ever draw a sharp line between history and fiction from a text?

    That sort of thing anyway. And it seems that the high period of novels that are self conscious about their nature reached a high point. Their impact changed the terms in which many good novels are written, and doesn’t seem necessary to carry on with that work for it is embedded securely in the way literature is written these days.

    I can’t remember who said the only way to write an honest novel these days is in the first person, even though I have quoted him in a previous post, and I consider that a postmodern sort of statement.

  3. Yes, Lynn, I see what you mean. Thank you.

    I find it much more fascinating to read about literature than delving into actual novels. Derrida instead of Ecco, Deleuze instead of Barnes.

    But that’s just me.

    Btw, Deleuze has a rather pragmatic approach to literature, If the book doesn’t work for you, throw it away. (quoted from memory – I’ll find the real quote later).

    Of course, I have read the “required” novels, but always find myself emotionally manipulated. Why should I obsess about some sorry individual’s misery when I can be intellectually inspired by reading philosophy? Nothing is better than new ideas!

    Lynn, you are indeed a well-read and well-rounded man (and yes, I know, sometimes also a depressed SOB, but you always emerge again from your depths.)

    Why DO you read novels?

  4. Orla,

    I too like the notions by the philosophers who write about fiction and other arts, and books of literary criticism, and books about how to write fiction.

    But that ain’t the question. Rather, why do I read novels?

    The good novel (good novel?) has this aura about it. It stretches the boundaries between fact, imagination, metaphor, and philosophy, yet those boundaries blend. A fiction writer makes decisions about the boundaries she wishes to stretch and blend. The best fiction writers stretch those boundaries in a memorable way.

    Let’s take a simple philosophical question: does free will exist? A novel writer answers that question, either consciously or unconsciously, as they write.

    I don’t read a lot of novels. I don’t read them for what happens next. I read them for the feeling of what happens. I read them, sometimes, for their metaphysical content and questions they try to answer: who are you and what do you believe and why do you believe what you do, whether starting with the particulars or the universal?

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