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More on Allegory

Since there has been some discussion on allegory, and I’ve been doing some reading on it… I might just start posting some of these.

Borges, The Petrified Forest, A Film Review

It is commonly observed that allegories are tolerable insofar as they are vague and inconsistent; this is not an apology for vagueness and inconsistency but rather proof, or at least a sign, that the genre of allegory is at fault. I said the “genre of allegory,” not elements or the suggestion of allegory. (The best and most famous allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come, by the Puritan visionary John Bunyan, must be read as a novel, not as a prophecy; but if we eliminated all the symbolic justifications, the book would be absurd.)

The measure of allegory in the Petrified Forest is perhaps exemplary: light enough so as not to obliterate the drama’s reality, substantial enough so as to sanction the drama’s improbabilities.