It's a bad habit of mine to stop in the middle of reading a book and consider, would I put this in my imaginary coml seminar? For example I would alw
It's a bad habit of mine to stop in the middle of reading a book and consider, would I put this in my imaginary coml seminar? For example I would always strongly consider Frankenstein and The World Republic of Letters but I would ultimately probably only excerpt this.
It's a good book; I'm immediately suggesting it to some coml people I know but it wanders and falls off track here and there and since I don't agree with some of Bautmans attitudes towards writing literature and life I can't endorse it as much as I wanted to.
I wish it had been more if a memoir, more like Barnards Assault on Mount Helicon, and less like an indulgent talk show monologue. But the genre literary theory cum memoir cum reflections on Russian literature is scarce and this is definitely better than a lot of journalistic like nonfiction I have read (the art I'd being lost for example)...more
The first time I read Tolstoy I wanted to throw up. We have a collection of his "Short Fictions" and there were a few passages about women that made mThe first time I read Tolstoy I wanted to throw up. We have a collection of his "Short Fictions" and there were a few passages about women that made me feel uniquely uncomfortable. There's a lot of anxious power behind his words (reading him in the original must feel like falling down a staircase) This is an extremely well written book at times but also, ridiculous. The vivisection of Wagner and Beethoven leave us..miffed. Yes at times he is right (should Wagner be included in the canon? I am not always sure) about the dismissive nature of the label 'great literature' 'great art' and even 'art' but, living as we do in the 21st century I think we can easily dismiss his hopes for a popular culture. There is nothing wrong with the examination of What is Art? What is it, after all? But Tolstoy makes a few mis-steps in his decision to find something moral and sentimental and evocative artistic. My mother, for example, is often moral, sentimental and evocative--but she doesn't deserve to be called art. (She is 'artful' and I think this is an interesting argument he doesn't fully explore) And of course, the emotional surges that the writing rises and falls with lay open a larger, perhaps more interesting issue, of the artist's separation from art. How can creators view the rest of creation? Their own creation? And there is a distinct alienation here, I think, between the writer and the forms he has known. There is a reliance upon the Christian faith but an absence of true spiritual connection to it. Compare the writing of "Mere Christianity" or "The Problem of Pain" to this. That, to me then, is interesting. If artists, as creators, are driven into a more complex relationship with reality but also with God, because of their own imaginative and authorial forces? (Coledridge linked imagination to 'to infinite I am who am' and Blake supports a thorough examination of reality through narrative structure...I think there's something interesting at work here, where Tolstoy seems to only see darkness) ...more