Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday June 3, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:23 AM
Faith, Doubt, Art
The New Yorker

On Faith:

“God is the original conspiracy theory….

Among the varieties of Christian monotheism, none is more totalitarian, none lodges more radical claims for God’s omnipotence, than Calvinism– and within America, the chief analogue of Calvinist theology, Puritanism. According to Calvin every particle of dust, every act, every thought, every creature is governed by the will of God, and yields clues to the divine plan.”

— Scott Sanders, “Pynchon’s Paranoid History

On Doubt:
“a Puritan reflex of seeking other orders beyond the visible, also known as paranoia

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (Penguin Classics, 1995), p. 188

On Art

The current annual fiction issue of The New Yorker has a section of apparently non-fictional memoirs titled “Faith and Doubt.”

I suggest that faith and doubt are best reconciled by art– as in A Contrapuntal Theme and in the magazine’s current online podcast of Mary Gaitskill reading a 1948 New Yorker story by Vladimir Nabokov.

For the text of the story, see “Signs and Symbols.” For an excellent discussion of Nabokov’s art, see “The Signs and Symbols in Nabokov’s ‘Signs and Symbols,'” by Alexander Dolinin.

1 Comment

  1. Reminds me of Melville’s “Art” but I thnk he’s employing Coleridge’s version of hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis-prothesis.

    Comment by stephenhoy — Sunday, June 8, 2008 @ 8:48 PM

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