Episode 46: The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman
Nina is a high school English teacher: young, idealistic, hoping to change the world with poetry. Aidan is one of her students: talented but disengaged from the life around him, preferring to spend his time in the fantasy realms of on-line gaming. Diana is another of her students: Aidan's twin, shy and awkward, wishing for invisibility. And Collin is Nina's boyfriend, the chalk artist, creating beauty out of dust, and erasing it as quickly. Nina wants to save them all, but what would that even look like? When does art -- in all its forms: literary, visual, virtual -- offer salvation, and when does it sow the seeds of plague?
Host Cyd Oppenheimer talks with author Allegra Goodman about the challenges of articulating the visual, about what fiction and video games have in common (and how they differ), and about why she believes art continues to be important ("people are interested, these days, in which lives matter... a novel validates individual lives").