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Christopher Bram: From a Journal of Recent Readings, Part II

Christopher Bram: From a Journal of Recent Readings, Part II

July 2, 2020 This brings us to Aristotle’s Poetics, which Critchley gives an even closer reading than he gave to The Republic. And why not? It’s shorter, more succinct and more germane. He begins by unpacking that troublesome concept, “catharsis.” Is it life-changing or purgative or disruptive or like menstruation? Many philosophers claim Aristotle uses it to argue directly with Plato about the value of tragic poetry. Critchley thinks it’s just a description of what people feel when they watch…

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Christopher Bram: From a Journal of Recent Readings, Part I

Christopher Bram: From a Journal of Recent Readings, Part I

June 29, 2020 Tragedy, the Greeks, and Us by Simon Critchley. A lean, concentrated, engaging, exasperating look at Greek tragedy and “tragedy’s philosophy.” It is so lean that it feels like a fatter, more conventional book that’s been cooked down into a series of zen koans. I can read only so much at a time, usually in the morning, before it turns opaque and incomprehensible. But in this age of plague, a tyrant and the failure of democracy, a visit…

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Christopher Bram: Love in the Time of Garcia Marquez

Christopher Bram: Love in the Time of Garcia Marquez

    November 12, 2007   I am rereading Love in the Time of Cholera, in part because of Draper’s recent pleasure in the book, in part to feed my new novel, and because I’m afraid that if I see the upcoming Mike Newell movie I will never be able to read the book again without seeing his images.   I first read the book five years ago. I see it more whole this time. The class issues read more…

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