Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Нассим Талеб О Литературе

Спонсор месяца - Продал таблетку - получил монетку :)

Сайт дня (как попасть) - http://secrettweet.ru/

Немного слишком метафизично и высокопарно на мой вкус, но все равно интересно почитать.

Dobelli [Lucerne, Switzerland] Nassim, why are you using fiction in a nonfiction book?

Taleb [Lebanon] First, Rolf, I am certain that, as a novelist, you know that fiction is a certain packaging of the truth, or higher truths. Indeed I find that there is
more truth in Proust, albeit it is officially fictional, than in the babbling analyses of the New York Times that give us the illusions of understanding what's going on. Newspapers have officially the right facts, but their interpretations are imaginary –and their choice of facts are arbitrary. They lie with right facts; a novelist says the truth with wrong facts.

When I first read my biographical vignette by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker, I recoiled at seeing that he put ideas in my head that were not there, and made
links between my background and my ideas. These associations were unrigorous to say the least. I try to learn from the negative, by reverse-imitation. So I figured out that I, as a writer, should never produce a lie or a distortion in putting ideas in the head of real characters. The only way to do so is to produce fictional
characters. The characters are mine and I can put anything I want in their thoughts.
Ideas come and go, stories stay. The thinker who has been the most read over time is Voltaire, because of the fables –something he did not expect. He thought that he would be remembered for his more serious works and for his sophisticated tragedies.

Now my book is an attack on what I call the narrative fallacy –our tendency to create explanations to give ourselves the illusion of understanding the world. But the narrative has aesthetic powers; it can be effectively used for the right purpose.

Dobelli [Aventura, Florida] True, but you actually have something to say. You have a couple of clear messages. Yes, I am a novelist, but I have nothing to say. I create a new world through fiction. So did Marcel Proust (needless to say, much better than I). So do most novelists. If you ask them what their books mean, they stare at you. And rightly so. I don’t know what my books want to say. They create a world, an
atmosphere, a universe. Maybe because we have nothing to say, we became novelists (the other turn would have been journalists). But, I agree with you: Stories stick. The human mind is wired for stories and has difficulties with facts and abstractions. Any speculation about why this is so? I have often asked myself this question. Wouldn’t evolution favor species that can deal with facts instead of fiction?

Taleb [New York] You have a lot to say. You just discover it by tinkering, you just let it come out. Evolution does not favor truth, it helps you get out of trouble. Mistaking the false for true is sometimes a good thing from an evolutionary standpoint. So if something is not really true, say the tiger might not be attacking you, you will still benefit from running away. Those who mistook stones for bears survived. Those who needed ”more evidence” left the gene pool in the stomach of bears.

Dobelli [Aventura, Florida] But I also benefit from facts, not just from fiction. If I do not mistake a rabbit for a bear or a tiger, I can kill it and eat it. Plus I save valuable energy by not running away. Surely, evolution favors that, too.

Taleb [Edinburgh] My point is that there are biases – some overreactions that help us overestimate some matters. But they are not general.

Back to the fiction/nonfiction divide –vastly more interesting than evolution. To me fiction is not about ideas. It is above ideas. I make a divide between the holy, the sacred, the mysterious, the unexplainable, the implicit, the aesthetic, the moral, and the ethical on one hand, and the empirical, the functional, the explainable,
the logical, the true, and the proven on the other. In short, the Holy and the Empirical. Literature belongs to the holy. You can do fiction, nonfiction, a mixture, who cares. Literature is above the distinction. It is sacred.

I write at two levels, the aesthetic and the functional, and I aggressively mix both. Whatever frustrates the reviewers is good because they are usually philistines who have no business talking about other people’s books and critiquing them as if they were in possession of rigorous standards. They are, I suspect, faux-experts without empirical validity. What pisses off the common reviewers seems to attract the true readers (and vice versa).

My mood swings between the aesthetic and the empirical and my text too does so. But I need to avoid a certain poisonous mixture, like trying to be empirical with the holy and holy with the empirical –like people who try to be analytical with art or economists who try to be religious with their theories. Читать дальше

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Спонсор месяца - Продал таблетку - получил монетку :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

*** Literature is above the distinction. It is sacred.***

Бедный, бедный талеб.
Возможно он доживет, как Рассел, до глубокой старости

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Сергей said...

На русском было бы понятнее)) Талеб интересен, но не все знают английский..

7:30 AM  
Blogger alexsmail said...

Что-то давно не видел новых роликов Талеба...

1:07 PM  

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