Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Simpático with Peace Through Fiction - more quotes from A Scream Goes Through the House by Arnold Weinstein (post #4)

Quotes from Chapter Three, "Diagnosis: Narratives of Exposure," 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.

“Kafka is, admittedly, the most slippery of all authors, and yet his tale (‘A Country Doctor’) is cautionary in its warning about deceptive appearances. These issues have a long history. Medicine and literature are, in some important sense, enlisted in body-reading and mind-reading activities; they are cultural institutions with a mission...” (p152)

“(I)t seems clear that both literature and medicine have long served...as torchbearers illuminating the dark human mind, along with the body that houses it, we may add.” (p155)

What the Internet is today (an information highway) the novel was for [the nineteenth] century...” (p152)

You might argue that there are only strangers in the world, in that everyone is opaque when you get down to it. Getting down to it really is the issue, since these matters seem idle as long as we go our merry way and tend to our own affairs (who cares if the taxi driver or the checkout person is opaque?), but what happens when we absolutely need to know more?” (p154)

“(A)s dramatist, Ibsen gradually shifts his focus from secrets themselves to the complex dance of those with secrets, a dance he wonderfully terms the life-lie, expressing the view that our dodges and illusions and fantasies are the fuels that get us through life.” (p168)

(W)hat is literature if not a diagnostic carnival, a nonstop exploration of human motive, a culturally sanctioned version of going inside?” (p208)

“I’d claim that literature constitutes a peculiar form of cerebral hemorrhage, a bleeding printward of all that is in the brain (and heart) of its characters.” (p208)

“I said at the beginning that it takes a lifetime to process what one has absorbed, that the famous Jamesian ‘figure in the carpet’ does not jump out at us like an epiphany, but rather is the pattern on the loom that we ourselves must discover and make and alter and rediscover over time.” (p209)

The books we love resist on-the-spot illumination, because they live in time, release their secrets over time, become different as we become different, are ultimately mobile and mysterious.” (p209)

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

No comments:

Post a Comment