Posts tagged ‘Joyce Carol Oates’

April 20, 2009

Do most authors love violence?

by caroanna

   Joyce Carol Oates says in the New York Times Magazine edition of April 12, 2009 that she considers “tragedy the highest form of art.” Well, I guess someone needed a catchy phrase to sound literary.

   Art is something that is created by a person. A tragedy is by definition something that happens to you, something that you cannot avert or influence. Basically, Oates combines words that have opposite characteristics. Now, I have never read any of Oates’ novels and based on the acuteness of her remarks, I highly doubt I will ever do that.

   Nevertheless, the question she was asked, about why she uses the topic of violence so extensively in her stories, is quite an interesting one. One important function of literature is, in my opinion, that of triggering emotions in a reader, either by commizerating with the protagonist or reliving his own experiences. Tragedy is one of the most intense emotional experiences of a person. Therefore, it is very effective if you want to engage your reader instead of just entertaining or informing.