Hamlet and the Snowman: Reflections on Vision and Meaning in Life and Literature

Hamlet and the Snowman: Reflections on Vision and Meaning in Life and Literature

Hamlet and the Snowman: Reflections on Vision and Meaning in Life and Literature

Hamlet and the Snowman: Reflections on Vision and Meaning in Life and Literature

Synopsis

In Hamlet and the Snowman, personal reflections of the author are joined with literary criticism in a common endeavor - a search to arrive at vision and meaning in life and literature. In the course of that effort, literary classics by Anderson, Shakespeare, Melville, Dostoyevsky, and Becket are analyzed, and the findings are evaluated within the framework of Newman's personal reflections. The search, taken step by step, slowly leads to those fundamental elements that make up one's vision of life and its meaning as well as recognition of their universality and similarities in both life and literature.

Excerpt

The years go on and on, round and round they go, one by one the seasons come and go. Each year, each turn, brings with it a finality of one kind or another, and then, in the course of time, a special moment will come to some human soul when life itself emerges as the finality, a thing to behold, something that is the last of everything. Standing then as if upon nothing in some vastness looking on, one thinks and wonders, is that what it is, the whole of it, established, examined, and final. It is then that literature, like some subservient conspirator eager to join in, comes running, carrying its bundle of delights and all its sundry seemings, calling out its confirmation. Yes, is its cry, I have seen it too, I know it well, and here is my vision of all that it is. and meaning, where is it to be found? It is the feelings that accompany vision and move us to ask, can it be, is it truly so, and now….

Existence does not seem to want to be spoken or written about too openly and freely, and literature, its bosom com-

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