In general I think that snarkiness and ranting do more to obscure than illuminate a problem. I am thinking specifically of my last post on the modern novel. What I should have said is this:
Without a belief or worldview that there is absolute, knowable truth; that beauty has discernable form; and that goodness is an ideal to strive for, all you have is unanchored nonsense. And I find nonsense both boring and a waste of time. Which is precisely my problem with the shallow books I pick through in hopes of finding something that will speak to my soul.
So, you reply, what is truth and who cares about it anyway? Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and goodness is next to impossible unless you’re a saint and I’m not, so why would I care about these things?
Think of it this way: It’s like making a budget and balancing a checkbook on the idea that 5 + 5 = 13; 6 x 7 = 67; and not only does 21/3 = 7, but so does 21/4, in certain cases, if you want it to be.
In short, the budget and the checkbook are going to be a useless mess. There are not only going to be bounced checks, but they are going to come as a surprise, because after all, the register says there is money in the account.
Likewise, you can follow the budget to the penny, but it is not going to marry up with the reality of your wallet. In short, neither the checkbook, nor the budget is capable of giving you information about reality.
It is the same with stories framed in a relativistic world where feelings are the supreme good. There is nothing to be learned because nothing can be learned, except possibly to be more selfish next time so that you aren’t the collateral damage.
And these aren’t the lessons that speak to my soul.