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Cleanthes
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Dinanukht wannabe
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I can understand why Munro's fiction sounds unappealing to some. Munro's strength lies in the way she deals with content, not form: morals, manners, relationships, life, death, sex. Actual plot, as opposed to the concerns of more formalist, innovative writers, and this is not everyone's cup of tea

That towering mad genius, Szentkuthy, defends the formalist side against the content side particularly well on his Black Renaissance book.
Quote:
 

Over time, all the issues related to myth and philosophy end up as the subject for light movies, and this is not due to intentional derision, nor depravity, nor decadence, nor desire to blaspheme, but due to an intelligent realization. Because sooner or later it is discovered that the so called ancestral, deep, key problems only masked the impotence of small, perverted intellectuals, and that the only possibility to solve them was found in treating them as games.

Life is made up of two parts: unnamed objects, devoid of cause and purpose, and events, ie games. The facts of sex and death either are unimportant, things that exist but lack metaphysics and poetry, anonyma facta et indifferentes, as Pope Sixtus IV wrote, or they are our playthings, useful only to devise a style and provide movie plots, to frivolously use as ornamental and decorative backgrounds. Indifference or pratfall, those are the only choices for reasonable people. The symbolist smuggling of content is something better left to degenerate slaves.

And about form and formalism. I read just yesterday how 'in times of decay form takes precedence over content'. In fact, even a blind man realizes that the opposite is true: the great eras ultimately lack content and are only interested in form. The Baroque artists and petty bourgeois sentimentalist writers would give up even their last drop of blood for their most important, beloved thing: content.
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Nobel Prize 2013 · General discussion