October 18th, 2011

Interesting words

"There are novels of 'time' and of 'space,' moralistic novels, poetic novels, the novel of manners, adventure novels, historical novels, comic novels, psychological novels, documentary novels, stream-of-consciousness novels, allegorical novels, mystery novels, and those novels --, square, white structures, dotted with windows, filled with sunlight, and peopled by mannequins who eat endlessly and retire at ten-thirty for dreamless sleeps. Many of these tags are easily and precisely interchangeable, and even, at times, can be piled up, like peat, on top of a single novel, so that, say, an indestructible work is at once a poetic novel, and a moralistic novel. Perhaps failure to arrive at a foolproof theory of the novel explains those periodic and exasperated statements that the novel at long last is dead -- utterances that invariably recall the genuine and melancholy deaths of the epic poem, which perished of obesity; the tragic drama, which has mysteriously died twice (in Greece and England); and the sonnet, which the Elizabethans unintentionally interred by perfecting. All this proves exactly what it attempts to disprove, for, because of its endless multiplicity, the novel, in a sense, has no set form -- an extremely lively and providential condition when one considers the consequences of a hardened form. This basic elasticity, however, conceals an extraordinarily tough single-mindedness that has made of the novel a kind of secular religious system. For the good novel prunes, organizes heightens, and explains the dull sprawl of existence into a vision of life without waste, disorder, or vagary, a proposed heaven -- or hell -- on earth."
Whitney Balliett

482 - those debates

We have been watching the Republican debates, and they are really depressing. I have serious unhappiness with Obama's performance, but he looks like a shining knight compared to every one of the Republican opposition. It explains why his lead in money is so huge compared to all of the GOP. The only one who comes near to being a reasonable alternative is Romney, and he is vastly lesser than Obama is every way. For the Republican party even to be thinking of Perry or Bachman or Cain is insulting to the principles and goals of the nation. Look, when the most intelligent talker and most convincing candidate is Ron Paul, there are serious electability issues, but I think you would agree that he makes the most sense of the entire lot. I am not going to say much on politics in this blog, so don't expect much more over the next year, but we are keeping an eye on the situation.