Ridyear Certainly his death was a tragedy.

Holt I agree, but I wonder if Clark agrees.

Clark Of course I agree. I had a very great respect for him.

Holt But that isn’t what I was asking. I remember hearing you say once, with such conviction that you almost convinced me, that an accident is not a tragedy. And this death was an accident.

Clark I see. But all you are doing is taking meanings from quite separate orders of fact. Certainly tragedy, as a dramatic form, excludes accident, because accident has no significance, at least of a tragic kind. It’s true that the same word is increasingly used, in ordinary living, to describe some accident or disaster, and I happen to think this is wrong. But in any case we can discriminate, knowing when we are talking about one thing and when about another.

Ridyear Literary form and ordinary living being self-evidently different?

Clark Yes, even self-evidently. A work of art is not a life. The more you look at the detailed evidence, the more you realise this line has to be drawn.