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The Future of Poetry, and Its Status as "High" Art

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Einherjar86, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. speed

    speed Member

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    I dont think the definition of art is that specific. Maybe great or profound art is what you're trying to get at. Otherwise, razoredge has a point: any attempt at something creative is art. It doesnt mean its very good, or of value. But, almost assuredly it will have been based on some other form of art seen or absorbed, or understood even subconsciously. Now great art almost always requires a depth or interest and knowledge in the field one is creating it; but not always. There are prodigies, people with singular focuses, etc. One doesnt need a college degree or to have seen or paitned a thousand paintings or read a thousand books to create great art.

    Besides, you're just arguing semantics anyway, if one is arguing the true definition of art.

    Literary criticism has been pretty much a colossal failure and harm since it became theory in the ivory towers. It has made attempts at understanding literature, but I think they've all largely failed. Give me theory-free criticism from a Samuel Johnson or a Edmund White any day!
     
  2. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    I'd say there has been many modern musicians of artistic merit. Even those with glimmers only when that was their goal.

    I suppose Im probably shallow but with theatrical business as you present, I do connect with many presentations and put myself there, even more scarily at times when I totally connect through my own experience of emotions, but hell... ya know Im shallow...

    As for high art, I will not except that fine line catagorization (new word...lol) and simply accept the fact that some produce better "art" than others.

    None the less, as you know me, I would suggest you investigate your own evaluation and ignore that of "Micheal Fried" or anyone else... including myself... of what moves the spirit and connects with ones soul.

    Lastly, tonight my girl and I spent a few hours evaluating our varying interpretations of Fates Warnings - Disconnected... followed by the meaning of life and other mislaid tangents... and I have to say... life in itself... is art

    Peace Bro, your alright and my fondest of adversaries. It has been said that the strenght of nations is based on that of their enemies (adversaries) and by that I truely enjoy your presence and shall not wish you anything other than great strenght and success ! :headbang:
     
  3. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    Shakespeare is a perfect example of what I would use to challenge Fried's theory (it must also be mentioned that Fried was writing about visual art, not literary art; but theatricality still applies). However, despite the theatrical element to Shakespeare's work, consider also how lyrical and literary those works are. While they're meant to be performed, most university literature classes only choose to read them; and look how much can still be extracted! I believe that true masterworks of the stage can merely be read and still be found to exhibit high artistic merit.

    I simply just disagree. I understand the argument that any creative endeavor is art; but I believe that true art requires a higher degree of understanding and study. Certainly someone setting out to write a novel needs to have read several novels before. One does not write Ulysses without having studied the literary arts of the novel and poetry. Where would Yeats be without Blake, and where would Blake be without Milton? There are connections of influence and reaction throughout the entire tradition of literature, and I believe that you would be hard-pressed to find a single work that is considered "great" that wasn't influenced by something before it. I'll use a Samual Johnson quote:

    "As among the works of nature no man can properly call a river deep or a mountain high, without the knowledge of many mountains and many rivers; so in the productions of genius, nothing can be styled excellent till it has been compared with other works of the same kind."

    Basically, I believe that art is always responding and reacting to art that has come before it, and thus it should be set against those older works. Art that is created without any knowledge of its tradition cannot be placed within it, because it has no influential ties.

    :cool: You as well. Happy Holidays razor.
     
  4. speed

    speed Member

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    I am merely pointing out your argument with razor was rather pointless, as you were both trying to define art. And your argument was something more than the basic Merriam Webster definition: the conscious use of a skill or creative imagination especially in the produciton of aesthetic objects, works, etc. I dont disagree with you on what makes true art; not just art.

    As for theatricality, I am simply not convinced. I find it to be a very interesting idea and generalization, which in some cases is true. A number of commentators have stated that it is odd that the greatest writers (Shakespeare, Euripides, Sophocles, etc) wrote drama; the weakest or clumsiest of all the writing arts. I dont know, I just find that observation interesting with your comments/theory.
     
  5. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    Drama is an outlet of human emotion and thought, no surprise that some art is expressed through these channels. Music is very dramatic as can be heard in classical pieces. My qoute from Milton expresses a dramatic point in ones life, other examples could be endless. I say... "big deal, one should not sweat the little things".

    "Real art", I say bah humbug and simply accept varying levels of creativity

    This is art... that is not... is like saying rock or metal is not music. A letter sent to a relative is not writing. Following the words of an instruction manual is not reading.

    The only threat to poetry is the presumption that those of depth and expressive, creative ability yet are "unschooled" cant write poetry... cant find inspiration from life and experience itself. This idea may have held water in the old days of simplicity and isolation, much like the easy belief in supreme beings but not in todays world. Best way to keep people down is telling them they can not do something... just because
     
  6. MURAI

    MURAI -

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    I know little about poetry but this discussion on art is interesting.

    I maintain that there is good and bad art but one should not worry if it is "high" or "low" art. One should just attempt at aiming at creating good work. That classification often comes from just for its format, medium, subject matter and the class that produced it. You take the elitist view in art, poetry in this case, because you believe only some have the capacity to do it well. I agree to this to a degree. If "everyone is welcome" without any standards set in place, then on a whole the works will be mediocre. This is because firstly, some will not be as serious in art creation but their works will be considered when they should not be. Secondly, if everything is accepted as being equally good, then it will lower the incentive to create work seriously. But I disagree with the notion that it must "respond and react" to traditions to be good. It is possible to achieve good work with little historical knowlege if one is competent and has a sense of direction.



    The question that "poetry read by no one has any meaning" is an interesting one. Yes, it has meaning for the creator if they executed with some success.




    No, if that person have some talent for language and poetry and could execute it by creating their own system for execution, it can be considered art.

    I know that it is especially now, it is difficult to measure art with the countless styles that have come up. It is difficult to pass a judgement because often art deals with problems that are by nature vague, indirect, and ambiguous than something in which we can come up with concrete answers. For example, in fields of math and science, it is more structured and success can be measured concretely. But boiling down to it, there is good and bad art. It should be from a genuine impulse to get at questions about meaning and beauty. Good art has a depth of meaning that even the creator may not be exactly consciously aware of. It should have direction and "hit a mark".

    Freud and Jung have wrote some interesting essays on poetry and aesthetics which I recommend to anybody interested. Freud's "The Poet and Day-dreaming" and Jung's "Psychology and Literature" are worth a read.
     

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