Sunday, January 21, 2007

Life vs. literature

"In Morris Zapp's view, the root of all critical error was a naive confusion of literature with life. Life was transparent, literature opaque. Life was an open, literature a closed system. Life was composed of things, literature of words. Life was what it appeared to be about: if you were afraid your plane would crash it was about death, if you were trying to get a girl into bed it was about sex. Literature was never about what it appeared to be about, though in the case of the novel considerable ingenuity and perception were needed to crack the code of realistic illusion (...). Even the dumbest critic understood that Hamlet wasn't about how the guy could kill his uncle, or the Ancient Mariner about cruelty to animals, but it was surprising how many people thought that Jane Austen's novels were about finding Mr Right".

Quelle: David Lodge: Changing places. In: A David Lodge Trilogy. Penguin 1993, S. 40 (ich lese gerade den dritten Teil, "Nice work", mit ebenso großem Vergnügen wie "Changing places" und "Small world". Zufallstreffer in einer Wiener Buchhandlung, als ich eigentlich nur die Zeit bis zu einer Verabredung "herumbiegen" wollte).

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