quoting a quote 02.10.2006, 3:23 PM
posted by ray cha
Quoting, his favorite quote:
A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world. That means trying to understand, take in, connect with, what wickedness human beings are capable of; and not be corrupted - made cynical, superficial - by this understanding.
Literature can tell us what the world is like.
Literature can give us standards and pass on deep knowledge, incarnated in language, in narrative.
Literature can train, and exercise, our ability to weep for those who are not us or ours.
At the institute, we often describe the "book" as both a vessel (technology) and text (information) especially as we work on revising our mission statement. Even so, and only speaking for myself, it is still very easy to get caught up in things like networks, copyright policy, and Web 2.0, which are, of course, all important topics. Sontag's quote is a good reminder of not just what resides in the vessel of the book, but why its contents are valuable.
K.G. Schneider on February 10, 2006 11:02 PM:
So here is the beauty of the web: I can sit here in Palo Alto crying over the beauty of Susan Sontag's words, which are quoted on a website I know of through the Web by a person I've never met, who still reaches me tonight.
Francois Lachance on February 14, 2006 12:10 PM:
How important is it for the Institute's "book" discourse that Sontag is referring to "literature"? She didn't write "text" or "book" but "literature" ... what counts as literature is a question of course broached by Sartre and many others. Your blog entry does make me want to revisit Sartre's Qu'est-ce que la literature? in the context of recent developments in the history of the book and new media studies.