- Radio Times
- Review by:
- Jane Anderson
Perhaps Nietzsche was taking his dark sense of humour too far when he commented that the thought of suicide got him through many a bad night, but the power of negative thinking takes on a refreshing new role in this feature by cultural historian and writer Patrick McGuinness.
As one of the contributors points out, if corporate America had listened to the people who dared say house prices would never carry on rising, the 2008 crash might have been avoided. Positive thinking isn’t always for the best!
About this programme
In a programme devoted to nay-saying, refusal, and creative contrariness in cultural history, poet and novelist Patrick McGuinness argues that negative thinking is vital to the life of the mind. Among those joining him are neuroscientist Tali Sharot, who believes that people have evolved an `optimism bias', and cultural commentator Barbara Ehrenereich, who claims that positive thinking has ruined America and the world. With their help McGuinness traces the changing role of negativity across cultural history, from the via negativa of medieval theology to the discovery of negative numbers in maths, while Geoff Dyer and John Banville discuss writers who exemplify and inspire the creative possibilities of negative thinking.
Cast and crew
- Paul Quinn