[lit-ideas] Tasting: the preparatory text

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 03:43:35 -0400

John: Is it not the case that people become literary writers or poets instead of philosophers or scientists because they aren't clear on what they believe to be

true or right?

Eric: No. Writers and poets have an intuition -- an intuition unrelated to belief -- that they cannot put into words. That's why they write so much. For poets, it's often a sound, maybe the sound of a few words; for writers it may be a scene that has some ineluctable attraction to them.

John: Or because they believe that "true" and "right" do not apply to their (or anybody's) views on world, others and self?

Eric: Depends on the writer or poet. For the most part, no.

John: Or because they lack the courage of their convictions, should they have any?

Eric: In general, writers and poets have *more* courage than philosophers. Writers and poets go to darker places, within themselves and their characters, than philosophers usually dare to enter. Hence the philosopher's penchant for "clarity," analysis, and argumentation, all of which are, finally, a way of defending the timid self by recourse to generalizations and abstractions.
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