Richard Powers's novels all offer us two imperatives, and they conflict. One is to study and observe-science, nature, music, almost anything-and derive happiness from understanding their interconnections. The other is to help the vast majority of people in the world who live terrible lives. Powers tries to work out some kind of balance between the two, and while he finds no easy answer, he suggests that if our culture encouraged finding happiness internally through mental exertions, we might free ourselves from our consumerist-oriented patterns and thus perhaps open possibilities for improving our world.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Literature and Literary Theory