Posted: Jan 19, 2017 9:18 am
by Cito di Pense
Macdoc wrote:Whether required or not it's a method of exploring various aspects of a philosophical set ..and that is what happens in literature...the author leads you within a viewpoint.

Sometimes a Great Notion was hailed for breaking that pattern and forcing the reader to decide on what to make of events,

It's understood that we say that sort of thing. What I'm trying to illuminate is that the preference for that kind of exploration is not to be assumed valuable a priori. It's treasured by a community, sure. It has to be learned, and here I'm thinking about "two cultures". It's not impossible for someone to rise to the very highest levels of discourse in both, but it is so exceedingly rare that we might figure that only a genius will do it. Specialization is making it nearly impossible to be noted for it. Feynman had a way with words, but he was completely uninterested in the niceties of pattern-breaking in the reading of literature. Usually there isn't enough room in a single lifetime to get that good at two different ways of thinking. For most people, training in one area ruins (or at least defers indefinitely) developing the potential in the other.

I think this is what protects the academic domains in the humanities from becoming completely superfluous. It's a human talent and can be developed to very high levels, but literary criticism doesn't usually manage that, but the literature itself does. Marveling at the achievements of scientists, poets and novelists, well that's what makes fans, and reading scientific commentary as literature.