Podcast: Ruth Wisse on Cynthia Ozick’s ”Innovation and Redemption”

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Using the essay “Innovation and Redemption: What Literature Means,” Ruth Wisse joins Eric Cohen to discuss the insights of famed literary critic, Cynthia Ozick. They ask if literature has a moral purpose, and observe how different approaches to the past inform creativity and the writing of fiction. Not only do Wisse and Cohen explore innovation and redemption, but they contrast innovation with experimentation. The distinction turns on an author’s view of cultural heritage, and whether inherited ideas can sustain and refresh the future, or the solipsistic notion that each generation creates artistic expression from nothing at all.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble, as well as Ich Grolle Nicht, by Ron Meixsell and Wahneta Meixsell.

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