Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pity and Fear

Aristotle taught that the purpose of tragedy is to inspire pity and fear in the audience, thence causing catharsis, a purging of emotion. I've always found his explanation of tragedy compelling, but as I get older (queue laughter at the thirty-year-old getting "older") I find that I want to achieve catharsis much less than I used to. Not that my life is layered in tragedy or anything, indeed, far from it. But somehow, one just doesn't feel as much like seeking out pity and fear at thirty as at twenty.

This has been running through my head as I've been reading about The Stoning of Soraya M.

It looks like a really incredible movie, and especially with the developments in Iran of late, I would like to have seen it. I would like to have seen it, yet I confess, I don't really feel like seeing it.

Perhaps as one gains the capacity to understand that tragedy is real in life, one is less willing to seek it out. At twenty, I had a great appreciation for tragedy, but one perhaps facilitated by the fact I didn't really understand it in a concrete sense. At least, not as much as I fancied I did. Or maybe I'm just tired, or a wuss.


Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean. I would say that Schindler's List is a great, nay, a very great movie, but I have no idea how well it holds up on repeated viewing because I have never had the desire to sit through it again. Same with the Passion of the Christ.


Anonymous said...

When did that movie come out?

I've heard that the young brain lacks the ability to realize/appreciate danger until about age 26...

Also, you have a beautiful young family you want to protect & nurture. Therefore, danger means something more important to you now.

Darwin said...

It goes into US release on June 26th, but it's been around film festivals for the last year.