After reading Ailsa Piper’s very thought-provoking, candid and energising Sinning Across Spain and talking with her at the recent Byron Bay Writers Festival, I wondered about what a list of typically 21st century sins might look like. I like the list she quotes from the Vatican, not normally one of my most trusted sources of moral guidance, but they do supplement the traditional Seven Deadly Sins with more contemporary ones such as creating poverty and doing environmental damage and the selling and manufacturing of illegal drugs… I’m thinking of lesser sins, maybe lower case sins as opposed to capital S sins.
So far my list includes: Impatience, Pettiness, Trivialisation, Distraction, Dissipation, Entitlement, Gluttony, Spitefulness, Schadenfreude, Rudeness, Meanness, Apathy, Indifference, Narcissism, Vanity, Self-Absorption, Indiscretion, Exploitation, Humiliation, Conspicuous Consumption, Vulgarity, Humorlessness, Callousness.
What would you add?
And which authors do you look to as moral arbiters, or at least as able to map and mine the complexities and flaws of human nature and create situations that make you ask yourself ‘what would I do if that happened to me?’, that expose human folly without preachiness?
My starter-kit list includes: Eliot Perlmann, Anna Funder, Helen Garner, Thomas Keneally, Richard Flanagan, Charlotte Wood, Jodi Picoult, Richard Ford, Thomas Hardy, Richard Yates, Colm Toibin, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers, Nick Hornby, Ian McEwan, Leo Tolstoy, Chris Cleave, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, William Shakespeare, Henry James, Bernard Schlink, Lionel Shriver, Vladimir Nabokov, George Orwell, Carson McCullers, Wallace Stegner, Margaret Drabble, Doris Lessing…
Who would you add? Leave a comment below….