"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Notable Quote: Isaac Bashevis Singer

In a comment to my blog entry on the Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story, "Grandfather and Grandson," my friend Sue mentioned she had just come across noteworthy quotes by that very author.  So in this Notable Quote entry I shall highlight one of his penetrating insights.

The very essence of literature is the war between emotion and intellect, between life and death. When literature becomes too intellectual - when it begins to ignore the passions, the emotions - it becomes sterile, silly, and actually without substance.
Isaac Bashevis Singer

Singer identifies the two extremes of poor written art, overly emotional or overly intellectual.  With overly emotional, the writer is expresses everything with no shape.  With overly intellectual, the writer provides a clever puzzle that ultimately doesn't engage the reader.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you found the quotes worthwhile, Manny.

    Anything overly emotional, be it literature or otherwise draws attention away from the central theme.

    Overly intellectual may appeal to some, but those who read for pleasure might find that style very intimidating.