The lyrics typed below -- from T-Bone Burnett's song "The Trap Door" from his 1982 EP of the same name -- are relevant to a point about good fiction to be argued in the upcoming Tuesday lecture.
"It's a funny thing about humility: as soon as you know you're being humble, you're no longer humble.
It's a funny thing about life: you've got to give up your life to be alive.
You've got to suffer to know compassion; you can't want nothing if you want satisfaction.
... Watch out for the trap door.
It's a funny thing about love: the harder you try to be loved, the less lovable you are.
It's a funny thing about pride: when you're being proud you should be ashamed.
You find only pain if you seek after pleasure; you work like a slave if you seek after leisure.
... Watch out for the trap door."
If you are interested in information on Burnett, click here: http://members.tripod.com/~tbonepage/ ]
MORE: the topic of didactic fiction was discussed in the fifth lecture: stories and novels designed to teach a lesson about a particular idea or principle. Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale came up as an example of didactic in fiction. In connection with our study of Alice Munro's "Forgiveness in Families," what I call the paradox of didactics was outlined. Along the lines of Burnett's lyric, above, the more direct your didacticism is, the less effective will your teaching be. Munro's lesson about revelation of self and repentance takes its effectiveness from the delicate aristry by which the lesson is concealed.
MORE: Wow: this is serendipitous. http://instapundit.com/archives/020784.php Follow this link, read the post, and click the "wonders" hotlink. There is a comment post from author Charles Stross today, discussing didacticism in fiction & why he avoids it. This also illustrates how the blogosphere works: its vitality, variety & communication.