Thursday, October 22, 2009

Simpático with Peace Through Fiction - more quotes from A Scream Goes Through the House by Arnold Weinstein (post #6)

Quotes from Chapter Five, "Saying Death" of A Scream Goes Through the House: What Literature Teaches Us About Life by Arnold Weinstein..."a book about the power of literature to heal and interact with our experiences" and simpático in spirit with Peace Through Fiction.

"Thinking about death and dying brings life into focus as nothing else can. (...) I contend that the renditions of death and dying in literature and art are food for the living." (291)

"Any traditional view of maturity and aging as a form of wisdom—a view that has to fight for its life anyway in youth-centered cultures like America—seems particularly vulnerable when physiological deterioration starts to speed up." (307)

"I am hardly prescribing dosages of Proust for heartache, but I'm saying that his depiction of a dreadful common event—no one is without loved ones who will die—is at once visionary and practical..." (314)

"(T)he public decrees of life and death have zero binding power. What lives is whatever we think about, whatever we give life to." (317)

"In [Proust's] dispensation, we are networked creatures, linked by our loves and ties, doomed to be emotionally and morally online as long as we live. True, our electronic culture enables us to log on, to check our e-mail, to travel that new highway wherever we choose. In Proust, no electricity is required (unless it be electricity that fuels heart and brain), but the connections are stupendous in their immediacy." (321)

"(T)he socioeconomic dimensions of dying constitute one of America's great unaddressed problems." (332)

"One of the ironies of modern culture is its peculiar treatment of high art. Either we subject it to the rigors of modern critical theory. . .or we piously commit it to the scholar's care...It would be better if we taught our students to view all art as fair game, to approach the most formidable and hermetic works as an aspiring thief might: with intent to break and enter, to discover, steal, and possess what is there." (334-335)

"Writing opens what seemed closed, grants us a measure of freedom within the prison our bodies inhabit." (371)

Arnold Weinstein links ~
Arnold L. Weinstein, Brown University Research
Arnold Weinstein, Brown University, Department of Comparative Literature

Book discussion ~
Join the discussion at Twitter Readers Bookclub

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