Been thinking about: Postjustified emotions

There is a statement in modern literature has been running through my mind again. It runs through my mind often. It is this:

"We assign a moment to decision, to dignify the process as a timely result of rational and concious thought. But decisions are made of kneaded feelings; they are more ofte a lump than a sum." - Hannibal by Thomas Harris (http://books.google.com/books?id=HA2UyrPlnXwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Hannibal+Thomas+Harris&sig=ACfU3U0jHJwHCwvGViuoMFzVweshuM0k9g#PPA162,M1)

Fiction usually gives reasons for its characters actions. Most ficiton that does not do so, in one way or another, is disregarded or never treated with attempts to explain actions. Every now and again, there is a work that we can not avoid so easily, such as Hamlet. It is an enduring point of debate for critics, as it was for those surrounding Hamlet in the play, why the prince is so melancholy, and so murderous. The reasons he gives seem weak - the death of his father, the not-really-adultery of his mother, which, when it comes right down to it, is more fickleness than adultery, the abandonment of Ophelia, who he must understand he forced away. But perhaps, as Harris suggests, decisions are kneaded feelings - perhaps the reasons for Hamelt's actions are his feelings, not his reasons, and it is a divide between feeling and force, not reason and force, which troubles him so deeply.

Perhaps this is true of all of us - our reasons are justifiers of our actions, and of our feelings, which interact much more directly with the material world, and lie much more deeply in our conciousness, prickly motes behind the eye of the mind. If this is true, one could explain all of literature as a post-justification of this sort: one could say that all of fiction, which is so primarily concerned with the changes wrought in people, seeks those changes not in the liquidity of their characters, but in the forces which surround them, and their reasonable responses to these forces, rather than dealing with the idea that we may not be as rational as we wish, and that, when I am sad, I think of reasons to be sad, not that I am sad because I have reason to be.

What think you?

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