Aren't you slightly curious about what Kundera has to say, and where this inquiry might lead in the minds of various readers who take up the challenge? My suspicion is that it could be quite rewarding for some, say Mono.
But the secret to success is to hold our judgment in abeyance and not jump upon one detail in isolation and make some judgment or pronouncement regarding it. We must try to see the forest for the trees, and not commence to chopping wildly at the first tree we encounter which does not suit our fancy.
Even if it is the case that what I write each day is wrong or foolish or in bad taste, at least I make an extreme effort each and every day of my life to think hard and write hard and at least try
to come up with something new. There must surely be some socially redeeming merit, earning me an "A" for effort, if nothing else. And when we crawl out on that limb, ever day, trying to come up with something new, we face criticism from many. It is a risky business to try and be original. But, at least, it is a business, if only monkey-business. It is preferable to idleness and burying our one talent in the sand, like that fellow in the parable.
Perhaps, one day, there shall be a mighty Judgment Day in cyberspace, and a virtual Shakespeare or Socrates will float down from heaven, click on our profiles, one by one, and sort each and every post in the scales of a balance, the worthwhile and interesting on the right, and the vacuous and trivial on the left. And on that fearful day, shall we see those ill-fated words "You have been weighted and found wanting" being traced by some divine finger upon our monitor?
Here we are, arch-enemies, dueling in cyberspace with our light-sabers. The fate of the entire universe is at stake! But which of us is Darth Vader? The real key to victory does not lie in chopping off one hand, because the cyborg surgeons just sew on a new, better hand. Anyone who feels like it may post in this thread, and single out one sentence or paragraph or comment, and disagree with it, and disagree violently. But the real victory will not be for someone to take their hachet and chop down one tree in the forest, and fashion it into a fancy coffee table. The real victory will be with the person who posts one single link. And that link will point to their entire work, where they do it right, the way Sitaram should have done it but failed, analyzing tragedy and fate and necessity and freewill from ancient to modern times, in one breathtaking night of power
where we soar up to the highest heaven of heavens and bargain with Moses, and soar down to the lowest hell to learn unspeakable mysteries. Yes, imagination is the highest form of blasphemy. But I shall share in their victory, for my poor thoughts and failures will have served as their jumping-board of inspiration.
This is kind of a fun thread, is it not? We allow our minds freedom to wander far and wide over many things.
But then, Nabokov warns us that "Curiosity is the highest form of insubordination."
Mono, what do you say, since you are in on this.... shall we continue with our inquiry and allow our minds to range freely over the centuries, over all the many volumes in Borges "Library of Babel", or... is this curiosity of ours too insubordinate?
I will grant you that my what-if scenario does not fit the classical definition of Tragedy, and I do not claim that it has the makings of a literary masterpiece. It is an exercise, to get people to think long and hard about what is really important to them. Even silly mental exercises can lead to profound results, occasionally. As a teenager, Einstein imagined himself riding on a beam of light. Some people might see that as preposterous. But somehow, his armchair experiment led him to his more serious theories.
I just did a google search on : "sophie's choice" tragedy
and I come up with over two thousand links where people have chosen to speak of it as a tragedy. Perhaps it is not a tragedy by classical definition, but nevertheless a number of people have used the words tragedy to describe it, and you must admit, my example bears more than a little resemblance to the scenario in "Sophie's Choice". My example, by design, bears some resemblance to Oedipus, since it involve incest and self-inflicted blindness, and murder (patricide), if you add in the option of world destruction.
Perhaps the tragedy of Tragedy
itself is that it has evolved into something second-rate for the general consumer public. Music becomes Muzak.
Which work do you feel most worthy to be called a modern Tragedy? I am sure there are several worthwhile candidates to consider. Perhaps Death of a Salesman
Which movie in the past 50 or so years comes close to a classic definition of tragedy (and no fare citing movie version of Shakespeare or Sophocles)?
After all, this is just a thread, not stone tablets coming down from Mt. Sinai. We are just having some fun, at least I am.
These posts get into the search engines and potentially attract a wide audience of readers. Even poor posts of foolishness, like mine for example, can be good showmanship
in the sense that they lure unsuspecting readers with poor taste to the forum, but then, little by little, they wake up to the foolishness of what I write, and move on to be genuinely educated by the posts of the truly knowledgeable. Think of it as Plato's Noble Lie, which ultimately makes good citizens out of everyone.