View of Life
It is common for an author to express a view of life through ideas and themes developed in a book. A reviewer identifies and comments on the author's stance. Does the book hold to and/or further develop views apparent in past works? Or make a new statement? Below is a list of popular attitudes, or schools of thought:
- Idealism-emphasis on enduring spirituality as opposed to transient values of materialism.
- Romanticism-focus on emotion and imagination as freedom from the strictly logical.
- Classicism-intellectuality; dominance of the whole over its parts, and form over impulse.
- Realism-adherence to actualities, the logistics of everyday life; objectivity.
- Impressionism-intuition; sense responses to aesthetic objects.
- Naturalism-humans as part of nature; adaption to external environment.
In response to Wilderness and Razor Wire, John Calderazzo discusses the importance of nature in Ken Lamberton's life and writing: "[I]n the prison of his days (to paraphrase W. H. Auden), Lamberton is helped . . . by nature, by the winds and dust and sweet-smelling raindrops that blow down from the nearby mountains, which he sees framed in barbed wire. This is nature unbound, not just out there beyond the walls but slipping in through the bars, swirling around his cell, penetrating even his skin . . . [Swallows] migrate, then return to raise new young in their mud-packed homes, lending solace-and spice-to the impossibly slow turning of the seasons . . . The swallows and many other break-ins from the natural world are also resources of rehabilitation, which Lamberton says is absent from all other aspects of prison life."
If comparisons are to be made between a book being reviewed and its predecessors, a reviewer should be familiar with the basic forms and techniques prevalent in works expressing similar viewpoints. Further research and reading are necessary for the reviewer to form intelligent analysis of views of life expressed through writing.