I’ve posted some thoughts on the Aurora, Colorado tragedy over at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen. Here’s a sample:
However we usually define tragedy, there’s something uniquely debilitating about those catastrophes that break into our lives for utterly arbitrary and senseless reasons. Indeed, traditional literary tragedy is often bearable because the pivotal moment of collapse has been foreshadowed and delayed and laden with meaning by much of the foregoing. Othello dies a victim of his own jealous and Iago’s cunning entrapment. Antigone worships the nobility of the martyrdom to which Creon eventually delivers her. However bad fictional losses may be, they are (usually) comfortably situated in a narrative that makes them sensible and even morally instructive.