John A (
Tue, 16 Apr 1996 19:09:29 -0500

I would like to point out that irony is one of the most moving and
effective tools in art. (art, literature, music, etc) There is a
distinct difference between saying something and exhibiting it. Just
think how it would have been if Voltaire simply wrote "Leibniz is wrong
because etc, etc" instead of raking Leibniz's metaphysics over the
philosophical coals in "Candide". "Candide" exposes the ridiculousness
of Leibniz's ideas, instead of merely stating it.

Also, irony gets your attention; it commands your attention. It slaps
your face with a contradiction that must be reconciled. This is why it
is as effective as it is. When I read Leibniz I thought that his idea
that ours is the best of all possible worlds was illogical, but I could
at least do it with a straight face; after reading "Candide" I cannot.
Irony exposes irrationality that may be subtle and unrecognized.

John Aten
"Truth demands to be declared even if it is ugly 
 and unethical" -F. Nietzsche

"Of each thing ask, what is it? What is its nature? What is it of itself" -Marcus Aurelius