Nov 12, 2008

But What If You're a Novelist *and* an Academic?

It's hard enough to offer a useful explanation of a book someone else wrote. Now, according to the Telegraph, I can't even explain myself, since apparently academic research doesn't measure up to fiction when it comes to addressing the intractable issues of the world. What am I to do? A provocative quote, from one Tom Clougherty of the Adam Smith Institute:

"There's a problem. Fiction works by appealing to people's emotions, not their intellect or rationality."

Hm. I had no idea this was true. I always thought the best fiction could appeal to both emotion and intellect. Many thanks to Clougherty for the clarification.

7 comments:

T. DAVIDSOHN said...

Ha! Your parallel careers cancel one another out!

Sucker.

Alex Irvine said...

This is a real dilemma.

ODDVANISH said...

Hmm. Perhaps you should quit both and get a real job, old chap.

Alex Irvine said...

I've always wanted to go to work for GM. Maybe now's the time...

Joe said...

I suspect this chap has never read a novel by Umberto Eco. Or Borges.

The Silver Seagull said...

Hate to burst your bubble but in my humble opinion you are just an ok writer. But then again I'm just someone who reads and that's a characteristic that describes at least 95% of your target audience. So what do I know? In my not so-academic opinion, your writing is formulaic, mechanical, safe and predictable, lacking in any original style or voice, well marketed, I'll give you that and very revealing of an academic trying to be a writer.
This chap may not have read a novel by Umberto Eco or Borges but I bet he read one by you. But I have no way of judging your academic prowess. I mean sure you are a college professor but what does that even mean these days? I once had a professor who told me he got into is position through the back door. What does THAT even mean? Yeah you think I'm an asshole and I like to park in handi-cap spaces while handi-cap people make handi-cap faces. Ask me if care?

If there is no supreme being who governs reality then nothing will ever be known to be certain. But if such a being exists then that being can know certainty even if we can not. So through faith alone we can assume or believe that a being exists and has revealed through some divine intervention certain certainties which we can never be certain of but which we can believe that he is certain of since he establishes what is certain and what is not. And perhaps one day if there is an afterlife we will know for certain what was for certain in this life.

ODDVANISH said...

"Yeah you think I'm an asshole and I like to park in handi-cap spaces while handi-cap people make handi-cap faces. Ask me if care?"

come on, seagull... of course you care. probably quite a lot. why else spend your time baiting people with comments like the one above?