Bruce Anderson

The beauty and tragedy of Lebanon


I was thinking about tragedy. Could one use the term ‘chronically tragic’? My first instinct is against. Tragedy is the soul-ravaging final scene of Othello or King Lear, when hope is overpowered by implacable despair. In Kent’s words: ‘Break, heart; I prithee, break.’ Flesh and blood could not withstand such emotional intensity in chronic form.

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