Harvard, John Mcphee, Johns Hopkins discussed on The Eric Metaxas Show
Well. I still think that the reason that it was startling for me to discover that you were rather Politically conservative and fiction writers because most fiction writers don't have that fierce moral quality in their writing their writing The typically as i would say maybe run of the mill utopianism. Who believe that in fact. We're not fallen that. We're evolving from something to higher levels and that we can. I guess it was william if buckley who who talked about it but he was quoting someone else when you talked about imminent -tising eschaton right that if we have enough Taxes and we have enough government. We can fix everything and we can create utopia through social engineering or whatever it is and we know that history especially recent modern history is replete with examples of people trying to achieve that. So when you say something like we're fallible or the morality is a struggle or this or that you you realize that your parting company with most of the people who create art in our time. Well they are afraid of a number of things first of all. They're afraid to be ambitious for they. They sort of imbibed the academic tendency to particularize the american academy is divided between the english approach and the german approach in the nineteenth century. We had to choose. Harvard chose to lean toward the english approach. Which is which value. Good writing graceful and generalization or johns hopkins was the big leader and columbia followed in in valuing german approach which has to be very particular strict and and limited rigorous see. It's a question of rich versus rigor And writers today have inherited the the rigorous approach which means that they limit their ambitions just the way scholars limit their ambitions. You know Penis denial in belgian circus stories. A thesis the fiction cousins of that. Are you get these these novels which are like magazine articles. They deliberately limit them. It's almost like john mcphee. But it's a novel of the and the novel might be called the estonian rug. Merchants baboon or perfect. Then that doesn't really exist. No that sounds like a like a novel at the new yorker would just go crazy of course of course just enough exoticism enough but not too much and it's kind of limited you know i mean if you're talking only about a boon that belonged to estonian rug merging you're you're defining it closely but that's as far into transcendence new yorker type fiction wants to go. That's exactly rug merchant alone. The idea of a rug merchant. He's sort of close to the world somehow. He's he's a. He's a rug merchant that but that's far also in the poetry that's published in the new yorker. It's interesting because it's just part of the zeitgeist and your i mean your explicatives it. But they're afraid they're afraid to take a chance they're afraid to put put a marker down and say. This is what i stand for. This is what i love. This is what i would die for. The some things are good. Some things are not something beautiful. Something's not terribly frightened. They're cowards. i mean i. i can't generalized hamilton. but so many and that is zeitgeist..