>From: Tom Gray@MITEL on 05/30/2001 12:46 PM
> Looking into the reasons that someone makes a work of art brings to mind
>speech I heard from the conductor Trevor Pinnock. He agreed to be the
>director of the local orchestra here. I attended his first performance
>which he gave a short introduction in French and English. He made an
>which although conventional gives much insight. He observed that his main
>purpose that year for the orchestra was to 'put more bumbs in the seats.'
>is a conventional British observation but it does show that artistic work
>conventional as any other work. Does an entrepreneur create companies
>some psychological need. Perhaps so but just as validly, the entrepreneur
>to make a living. Pinnock's 'bumbs in the seats' remark is analogous to the
>bucks no Buck Rogers' maxim that is found throughout engineering.
>People do things because that is what they do. Psychological
>the genesis of a work of art seem to me to be as relevant as analysing
>marketing strategies to understand his artistic approach to baroque music.
>can make for an intersting study but it is not about art.
I just finished a course on popular culture, modern society, and whatnot
(The book we used was Understanding Popular Culture by two Bowling Green
University professors, but right now I can't remember their names). In it,
we discussed the difference between "folk culture", "popular culture", and
"elite culture". The true difference between these is that folk culture
attempts to reflect the audience mindset, elite culture attempts to mold the
mindset, and Popular culture does a some of both (personally, I believe it
primarily reflects, buth that is not a debate for this list). Eliot is
certainly an "elite" artist. Thus, by definition, he is trying to mold our
mindset and take people out of their comfort zone with his imagery and form
(this too is debatable but I think we can agrre on this). Thus, I disagree
with the "put more bumbs in the seats" assessment. Eliot had a true purpose
for his works--they are not J. K. Rowling or Danielle Steel novels. Perhaps
I am confused by your message, but I feel that a psychological
interpretation is both insightful, fascinating, and useful--just like any
other form of interpretation.
As a side note, I have only been on this board for a few days, but I find
your comments most enlightening.
Thomas R. Stratton
University of Chicago
Evanescence...what a sad word
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