One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ain't No Reason

Goya, "Sleep of Reason"

Maybe reason isn't all it's cracked up to be. Maybe logic limits a person's thinking and his imagination. In reviewing J.M. Coetzee's novels in NYRB, John Lancaster points out a character who believes that "logic is a human invention, not the fabric of our being." And that the binary logic of the computer -- which is pervasive and co-opting a lot of our lives -- is a threat to humankind because it classifies things in a rigid "either-or" fashion. I find this whole concept very intriguing, and it spurred me to get Coetzee's "Elizabeth Costello" out of the library. Nevertheless, even artist/madman Francisco de Goya felt that reason shouldn't be entirely dropkicked: "Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels."

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