Sunday, September 09, 2018

Poetic Justice

I think it's time for someone to write a dissertation, or book, on how the critical idea of "poetic justice"--which holds that literature and theater (both 'poetry') must reward virtue and punish evil--describes how we still watch tv and film in the po mo age, in ways which I think both hurt and harm us as active viewers. It's worst manifestation is a common insistence by scolds, on both the left and right, that 'poetry' must accurately represent the virtue of those who produce it, i.e., writers, performers, directors, as if no good can come from the art produced by anyone we deem 'bad,' a patently stupid idea. It's best manifestation may be as a tool to parse our responses to particularly complex characters, both 'heroes' and 'antiheroes.'

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