From the moderator of The New York Times philosophy blog “The Stone,” a book that argues that if we want to understand ourselves we have to go back to theater, to the stage of our lives
Tragedy presents a world of conflict and troubling emotion, a world where private and public lives collide and collapse. A world where morality is ambiguous and the powerful humiliate and destroy the powerless. A world where justice always seems to be on both sides of a conflict and sugarcoated words serve as cover for clandestine operations of violence. A world rather like our own.
The ancient Greeks hold a mirror up to us, in which we see all the desolation and delusion of our lives but also the terrifying beauty and intensity of existence. This is not a time for consolation prizes and the fatuous banalities of the self-help industry and pop philosophy.
Tragedy allows us to glimpse, in its harsh and unforgiving glare, the burning core of our aliveness. If we give…