- Title Pages
- Author's Note
- 1 Closing the Books: <i>A Devoted Reader Arrives at the End of the Story</i>
- 2 H. C. Witwer and Me: <i>The Making of a Reader</i>
- 3 Stop the Presses: <i>A Petition for Less Writing</i>
- 4 What Do You Know? What Don't You Know?
- 5 Death, It's What Ails You
- 6 Why Smart People Believe in God
- 7 Taste, Too, Is an Art
- 8 The Rule of Temperament
- 9 Art and Craft
- 10 Certitudes
- 11 What Happened? The Rise and Fall of Theory
- 12 How We Write When We Write About Writing
- 13 Looking for a Good Argument: <i>Argument and the Novel</i>
- 14 Just Imagine: <i>Three Hundred Years of the Creative Imagination</i>
- 15 Going, Going, Gone: <i>The Place of Poetry in American Letters</i>
- 16 The Writing Life
- (p.117) 10 Certitudes
- Yale University Press
This chapter considers the concept of certainty. It explains that phenomenologically speaking, very little can be considered certain because even as we exist the precise forms that existence takes are not beyond logical doubt. It also highlights the appeal of the idea of uncertainty, particularly when we transform it into a fashionable nihilism.
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