Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Burning Rage fans a Culture of Violence.
Petrol bombs in Athens, violent protests in Bulgaria, car bombs exploding in Damascus and Jihadis blast Hyderabad, India killing, maiming and injuring thousands of innocent people. Charles McNulty discusses the violence and bloodletting that is all around us. The real world being sufficiently generous when it comes to doling out violence, we find it harder in our middle years to detach blows from the physical and mental suffering they entail. Violence places keener demands on our sensibilities. The question is one of gratuitousness. The British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has spoken of the "inured, detached horror" that comes as a result of being glutted with images of human suffering. Like Freud, Aristotle thought that repression carries more dangers than representation. Yet his theory of catharsis — for him, the raison d'être of tragedy — isn't unlimited. There are experiences better left undramatized. The test of an action's moral suitability, however, lies in its artistic ends, not in its inherent balefulness. Only those who are enlightened can escape the inferno of terror, violence and hate in a world full of imminent death. Neither, fire, bombs, guns, religion nor hate can destroy the spiritual fire that burns fiercely within those who have beyond the cycle of hate and violence. In the "Poetics," takes up the question of why human beings delight in contemplating objects that in reality bring them pain. Yet Aristotle doesn't claim that this instinct alone justifies the portrayal of any kind of atrocity.