Great art aims to transform us and our ideas in some way. As technology has enabled us to customize many of our interacts with the world, including the news we see and the people we communicate with, this can narrow our views. The pandemic has further put people in tiny social bubbles to keep them s
Publish Date: May 26, 2021
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Great art aims to transform us and our ideas in some way. As technology has enabled us to customize many of our interacts with the world, including the news we see and the people we communicate with, this can narrow our views. The pandemic has further put people in tiny social bubbles to keep them safe. But in the safety of our bubbles there is a danger of distancing everything and everyone who is different, causing catastrophic divisions. Humans are social animals and diversity of people and ideas is essential for a healthy life. Literature and film have a unique and important ability to take us out of our safe space to interact with different ideas and ways of being in this world. In this episode I’m joined by an expert in literature and film to discuss important ways in which we can break out of our bubbles and expand our minds through film and literature. Prof David Jarraway is Professor of American Literature and Film Studies at the University of Ottawa. His work focuses on 20th century American literature and film noir. David is the author of the book Wallace Stevens Among Others: Diva-dames, Deleuze, and American Culture (2015), among others including many essays on modern American literature and film. He is also the editor of Double-takes: Intersections Between Canadian Literature and Film (2013). Prof David Jarraway: https://uniweb.uottawa.ca/members/583vBooks: TEACHING FILM, Edited by Lucy Fischer and Patrice Petro, esp. Part III: “Interdisciplinarities,” and Part VI: “Film and Media in the Digital Age” (New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2012). David R. Jarraway, GOING THE DISTANCE: DISSIDENT SUBJECTIVITY IN MODERNIST AMERICAN LITERATURE (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2003), where I elaborate further on the “Open Subject” concept discussed in the Podcast.Blake Bailey, CHEEVER: A LIFE (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009). The passage I quoted from this book (at the end of our conversation) appears on page 302, and is part of a Journal entry American novelist John Cheever wrote in 1962 just after the publication of his second novel entitled THE WAPSHOT SCANDAL. The citation reads: “I think of the enormous responsibilities and burdens that have, recently, overtaken modern fiction; to hold the attention of an audience whose attention is seriously challenged; to describe with coherence a society that has no coherence; to discover or invent links of precedence and tradition where there are none; to look into the moral questions . . . [and] to renew our sense of good and evil.”