Art is rebellion. It rejects the certitude of time, transforms doubt into affirmation. It can even mitigate the injuries of force and uncover the beauty in loss.
But optimism has limits. Consider Louis, a fictional author in Rachel Cusk’s novel, Transit, who reminds us “of the randomness and cruelty of reality, for which the belief in narrative could only ever provide the most absurd and artificial screen.” Thank you, Rachel Cusk for the reminder. We are creatures of language, a cosmic-shifting evolutionary event. As Joan Didion writes in the White Album — indeed, in her very first sentence — ”We tell ourselves stories so we can live.”
Who are we if not alive?