(un)common ground

a commonplace book

The Arts Enable Us to Suss Out Our Feelings

The value of the arts, though, isn’t merely that they give us another way to talk about whatever the concerns of the day are. Sweeping stories like Star Wars and our emotional reactions to them are part of the ways we suss out our emotional feelings about core ideas like the responsible use of power, the aspiration to be free or what happens when good intentions go horribly wrong.

Alyssa Rosenberg, “What conservatives talk about when they talk about ‘Star Wars’,” NYT, Nov. 6, 2015

I’m so glad to see writing about Star Wars as literature! This in response to a column that playfully(?) defended the Galactic Empire’s actions vis-a-vis Alderaan on a utilitarian basis.

Rosenberg effectively weaves nuance into her summary of the aesthetic literary experience. It isn’t “merely” to reflect contemporary concerns (the times we live in, say), but also as a lens through which to process, excite, “suss out” emotions about, well, philosophy, according to her. Reader-response criticism, I believe.


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This entry was posted on November 11, 2015 by and tagged , , .
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