From Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day, I’ll be recapping the top 5 posts from 2012 on 101 Books. 101 Books will return live on January 2nd, 2013!
Today’s post, “The Aurora Tragedy: When Life & Art Intersect,” was originally posted on July 25.
The Top Post from 2012: The Aurora Tragedy: When Life & Art Intersect
I’ll do my best to keep today’s post on subject. To me, it makes sense how this relates to the theme of my blog. I hope it does to you too.
As I put together some of my last few posts about The Bridge of San Luis Rey over the weekend, a book that details the lives of people who fall to their deaths in the collapse of a rope bridge in Peru, I was reminded again about the randomness of tragedy.
Just last week, I posted about how this novel experienced a rebirth after September 11, when Tony Blair quoted a passage from the book during a memorial service for the victims of 9/11.
On the heels of the awful events in Aurora, Colorado last week, this novel seems relevant yet again.
In The Bridge, Thornton Wilder reminds us that any one of us could’ve been on that bridge, just like any one of us could have been watching Batman in that Aurora theater.
Wilder, through the main character Brother Juniper, attempts to explain the “why” of tragedy. Why were those 5 people on that bridge? What brought them all together at that moment? Why wasn’t it someone else?
Brother Juniper begins a process of going back through their lives, telling their stories, and trying to make sense of their deaths. It’s no surprise that a question of that magnitude doesn’t bring an answer that will satisfy everyone.
It’s a messy question with a messy answer—actually there is no real answer. I don’t think any human mind can ever understand why crap like this happens.