Miss MacIntosh, My Darling discussion

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Reading Miss MacIntosh > 12 -- How arid this life of the imagination... (188)

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message 1: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 95 comments chapter 12 page 188


message 2: by Jonathan (last edited Oct 29, 2014 09:06AM) (new)

Jonathan (nathandjoe) | 44 comments Another short chapter.

Our narrator had a breakdown of sorts, I think, when around 7 - certainly she imagined herself a dog and would go barking into the garden - hers was the unfettered world of the imagination, illimitable and free. And dangerous for that, harmful, as well as joyous. Miss Mac changed all that, saved her perhaps, though much would be lost by such rigor. Miss Mac cannot know Love, for there is no room for such insubstantial things in her hard and duty-bound world (is the duty of the Doc - we have already seen its positive and its negative sides - meant to be an aspect of this world-view?).

Again and again we are being shown contradictory things, things which are yet quite happy to co-exist in their contradiction - is this whole novel a rejection of dialectics? To define one thing in opposition to another is to kill both, to make both untrue. Life is flux, is movement, is becoming and losing, is both Art and Science, both dreaming and waking. There is no memory without forgetting, no life without death, no love without loss. One simply cannot be held separate from the other, cannot be defined as a thing-in-itself.


message 3: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (nathandjoe) | 44 comments actually - on reflection - I don't think "dialectics" is what I mean at all - in fact the whole concept of a "synthesis", which can certainly exist in a state of flux, or be apparently contradictory, is more like the position here than not.

perhaps "binary opposition"? Hopefully someone who knows what they are talking about with this stuff will come along one day and write a reply here to tell me what I mean....


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