Overstory. Richard Powers

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A novel, where a character dies and revives — listening to voices no one else can hear. Where another is a parpalegic who spends his life coding and living in a cyber dream world, and yet another is married to silence at the death of his family. There is one on the autistic spectrum, who spends his life studying why people do what they do, and a scientist who is almost deaf, who goes years before anyone hears what she has learned. Yet another, felled by a stroke, who can manage only a slngle word at a time–and those, mostly unintelligible.

Whether fiction, or philosophy–or work of art–the one question that links auther, thinker, artist– to their work, the question that hovers over the work, informs everything else one might ask about it:

why did they do this?

What was the unspeakable, imageless, aporia of thought that formed the need and provocation to make this thing?

 

On p. 383, Ray–the character who has been stroked speechless–is thinking –while his wife reads to him from Anna Karenina:

<To be human is to confiuse a satifying story with a meaningful one, and to mistake life for something huge with two legs. No: life is mobilized on a vastly larger scale,  and the world is failing precisely because no novel can make the contest for the world seem as compleeing as the struggles between a few lost people. >

Try again. Fail again. Fail better

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