[ilds] real emotions and unreal figures

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sun Oct 18 13:44:40 PDT 2009


Bill,

Deep question.  I guess everything people perceive (very broadly), in  
a scientific sense, can be reduced to neurons in the brain.  Off hand,  
however, testing my own feelings, I don't think of literature as  
"unreal people whom we think of as real."  I know I'm going into  
another dimension, the author's Imagination, whatever that is and  
whatever that is in tuned to, and great authors make this transition  
more enjoyable than others.  I happened yesterday to take up Emily  
Brontë's poetry once again, and her receptivity to "the Invisible"  
struck me as very similar to Durrell's.  Does anyone think of  
Heathcliff and Cathy Earnshaw as "real?"  Or Justine and Darley?  I  
doubt it.  They're a part of Emily's and Durrell's worlds, which we  
readers want to inhabit, however momentarily.  I'm arguing for  
something mystical, which is the best way I can express it right now,  
and against something in Holland's line of inquiry, if I understand it  
correctly.


Bruce


On Oct 18, 2009, at 12:56 PM, Godshalk, William (godshawl) wrote:

>           " All my life, I've been fascinated by the way people  
> relate to literature and the arts. As a result, I have been teaching  
> and writing about psychoanalytic psychology. cognitive science, and  
> what they tell us about the responses of readers to literary texts,  
> movies, and occasionally the other arts.
>
>           " Recently, I've gotten intensely interested in what  
> neuropsychology has to say about the literary process. My most  
> recent book, Literature and the Brain tells how our brains function  
> in special ways when we are transported by a story, a poem, a play,  
> or a movie. We no longer sense our bodies or our environment. We do  
> not disbelieve the most imporbable things, and we feel real emotions  
> towards people and situations that we know are quite unreal.  
> Literature and the Brain explains that our brains behave in this  
> special way because we know that we cannot act to change the work of  
> art. The book goes on to address some basic questions about  
> literature. What makes us sense some language as literary? What does  
> it mean when we say a literary work is good or great or awful? What  
> brain states account for literary creativity? Why have all cultures  
> in all times, so far as we know, had some form of language art?"
>
> So writes Norman Holland about his newest book, Literature and the  
> Brain. I have not read the book, but I hope it gives us a way  
> (another way) of dealing with the problem of unreal people whom we  
> think of as real. I think of women checking out at a grocery store  
> and talking about the soaps.
>
> Bill
>
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