Every not-so-often, a person can distill a complex idea into one sentence.
It’s a rare event. But when it happens the idea snaps into your mind forever.
Today’s Econ Talk podcast episode was one such occasion.
Dana Gioia snapped my synapses when he shared this definition of the novel:
It’s hard to think of a novel that doesn’t follow this idea. I’m sure there’s some experimental four hundred pager out there, but the novels I truly know all exhibit this tension between the characters inner and outer life.
In Tolkien’s The Hobbit – Bilbo duels between his craving for comfortable Shire life and his Took instincts for adventure.
In Jeff Smith’s Bone – Fone Bone longs to return to Boneville, but harbors a secret love for Thorn who could never follow him there (Graphic novels count too right?).
Irony threads through all of them. And novels will no longer read the same to me.
Russ Roberts and Dana Gioia’s conversation was inspiring throughout.
Listen in full below: