Quartet: On the Theme of to Portray is to Betray

Paul Magee


Abstract

Art does not deceive its readers with an illusion of reality, as the common-sense notion has it, but rather pretends to deceive them. For the communicative power of the work of art lies precisely in the fact that we recognise its artificiality, its status as a work within a given genre, following certain conventions, set in a particular frame. What the work really points to, beyond the page, is the existence and actions of a creative consciousness, as that consciousness works through a given set of symbols to express itself. For reading is all about experiencing another’s mind. In the lack. Which makes it a matter of desire. My purpose in the following is to use literature to crack open the everyday, to write about neurosis and psychosis, how they write their way into the real world around us, the dinner table, this novel, a Greek tragedy, I mean Oedipus complex.

Keywords

literature; art; neurosis; psychosis

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