LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for TSE Archives


TSE Archives

TSE Archives


TSE@PO.MISSOURI.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

TSE Home

TSE Home

TSE  August 2001

TSE August 2001

Subject:

Re: Definition of art

From:

[log in to unmask][log in to unmask]

Date:

Sun, 19 Aug 2001 13:08:59 EDT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (79 lines)


8/19/01

Pat,

   I found your latest post helpful and you brought up important points that 
I'd like to further comment on. 

   Towards the end of the post you make a statement that I basically agree 
with:
> I personally think anyone who wants to know
> what art is ought to make an effort to look at
> a lot of art. Those people who do this turn to
> different and more specific kinds of questions,
> like "how do Japanese vases differ from Korean vases?" 

This answer recognizes that, in part, appreciation of art may be an "acquired 
taste", that is, it is only after some education that some art may be 
appreciated. I know this answer will offend some people who believe that art 
is whatever their personal instantaneous reaction says it is (Jon Rouse, the 
other day, called this "individual whimsy"). But ultimately, I still think 
you are right. Last year my son repeatedly told me he found all paintings and 
sculptures boring (this was during a discussion of how much he loved music). 
Then he took a  European history course that included studying the art of 
various time periods. He became a convert and now greatly enjoys art. He was 
in Paris this summer and said his favorite place was the Louve, which would 
have been his LEAST favorite tour stop last year. So tastes change, 
especially as one learns more.  I also agree that as one learns more, you 
begin to ask more specific questions like "how do Japanese vases differ from 
Korean vases?". 

  I think the issues that I'm trying get clear in my own mind are best 
illustrated by an earlier part of your post:

> It's not much different from inviting a friend for dinner
> and knowing that what the friend would regard as
> a great dinner isn't necessarily what one would choose
> for one's self. I personally think it's not especially helpful
> to ask what the "real standards" are for a good dinner. 

Isn't this just what the Classic Modernists were trying to do? Perl said, 
"What Eliot or Pound or Yates or James or D.H. Lawrence most feared was that 
the attempt to reconcile high culture with egalitarian or democratic ethics 
would cause us to accept as art things that were NOT art".  Pat, in the terms 
of your example, isn't this like saying, "What Eliot or Pound or Yates or 
James or D.H. Lawrence most feared was that our lack of 'properly 
discriminating taste buds' would cause us to accept as 'good dinners' meals 
that were NOT good dinners."  In other words, I think Perl is saying the 
Classic Modernists were willing to tag things as "not art", just as a chef 
from a five-star hotel would declare a fast-food restaurant as serving "not 
good dinners". 

If all that is meant by declaring something 'not art' is "I personally don't 
think this is art (or a 'good dinner')", then I have no problem figuring out 
what they meant (They are simply expressing personal preference). But I have 
the feeling they mean (or, at least, they WANT to meant) much more: that they 
are trying to say that is it important for there to be AGREEMENT with THEIR 
view of what is "not art". For if 'agreement' is not important, why would 
Perl say "What Eliot or Pound or Yates or James or D.H. Lawrence most FEARED 
was. . . ". Isn't the basis of the FEAR that some aesthetic standard other 
than theirs would become the prevailing view in the general population? And 
didn't they regard this event, if it were to come to pass, as a "cultural 
decline"?  The very phrasing of the term "cultural decline" implies a 
judgmental attitude that I'm struggling to understand.  

You wrote:
> the fact that there are no absolute standards for beauty
> does not mean "it's impossible to judge," although
> time and again people tie themselves up in that knot.

This is the heart of the matter. While Eliot appears to be a philosophical 
Relativist (at least, this is what Perl argues for when analyzing Eliot's 
Ph.D. thesis), it seems, in fact, he had very specific aesthetic standards 
and furthermore believed that if THOSE standards were not generally accepted, 
it would result in a "cultural decline". This seems to me to be an Absolutist 
position. Do you think this was TSE's position and, if so, is it defensible?

-- Steve --

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
March 1996
February 1996
January 1996
December 1995
November 1995

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



PO.MISSOURI.EDU

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager