Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Treat not the world ...

... as if it were a great hospital: Diagnosing Lear.

We favor the explicit, not the implicit, and the spoken rather than the unspoken, to the point where what is not said cannot have been meant. We favor incontinence over retention; we take vehemence for sincerity and depth of feeling. The signs of it are everywhere, and are visible even in very small things: tennis players, for example, grimace, mutter, exclaim, and punch the air as if no tennis players before them had ever truly wanted to win a match. Joy and screams of exultation are taken to be co-terminous, while tears and above all sobs are the sine qua non of sorrow. It is as if we took seriously the theory of the emotions according to which bodily changes precede, and then determine, what we feel. We find a joke funny because we laugh at it; we do not laugh at it because it is funny.

This comes via this excellent post by Patrick Kurp: `The Great Feral Novel'

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