Tag Archives: Arthur Krystal

The meeting of the private and the public

The invisible centerpiece of every great novel is the protagonist’s rebellion or coming to terms with his or her place in the scheme of things.

Novels, of course, communicate a lot more in carrying out their design, but what seems to me beyond dispute is that literature, when undertaken seriously, is a celebration not of life but of awareness, an awareness of the human condition, which is both communal and individual and inevitably strikes a balance, palpable or barely perceptible, between the two. Each of us, then, is a fulcrum where the private and the public meet, where inner and other-directed yearnings sometimes clash. Literature gets written because of this, and what we understand and love in it, as Erich Auerbach wrote, “is a human existence, a possibility of ‘modification’ within ourselves.”

Arthur Krystal, The Novel as a Tool for Survival, The Chronicle for Higher Education , 6.3.2016 (from here) 

Comments Off on The meeting of the private and the public

Filed under Uncategorized