At 05:49 PM 8/29/2002 -0700, Peter Montgomery wrote:
>Well Ken, old cyber buddy, it looks like we
>have a bit of a disagreement here.
No nose worries here, but yes, we do disagree. I think. I'm having
a very hard time ... I was going to say making sense out of your statements,
but by that I do not mean forming an aesthetic appreciation of them. (I know;
maybe I should).
>I think the concern here is that I am using aesthetic in
>a sense different from what you think. For aesthetic refers
>to the effect on the senses and the shaping of perceptions.
>Really aesthetic is just another word for the senses.
I don't think so. But that's not the nub of my difficulties with
>I mean by immediate the reactions that happen on direct
>engagement of the work, whether it be the fifth or the fiftieth.
>To me the impact is very negative if intellectual analysis starts
>happening before one has really allowed the experience to sink
>in and have its own effect.
Yeah, this is where we part ways, Peter old friend. Why are the
perceptions lost? Where'd they go?
>The very valuable key moments of
>perception are lost.
If you can have them at the fifth or fiftieth reading, mustn't they be
pretty durable? In trying to set off whatever you mean by intellectual
analysis from aesthetic appreciation, I think you're compartmentalizing
where you ought not to be. I don't think there is any way you can finally
separate one from the other, as if they exist in different minds. Or
different bodies. Same difference. I think one may be constitutive of the other
>Again I come back to the world of ordinary
>experience. We simply have the exeriences.
Never. What makes you say this? Our consciousness of them is always in
play; no simple experiences. This, btw, is what TSE's dissertation is about.
>The more intense ones
>can strike us very deeply, enough so that we become even more
>conscious of them as we gain distance on them. Eventually we may
>come to analyse them in various ways for various reasons. Much
>the same thing should happen with the experience of a really
>effective or intense work of art.
I think you're thinking that "intellectual analysis" is what prevents
us from a deeper understanding of a poem like Burbank. But in the order of
things "thought" and "feeling" can never exist in isolation from one
another. I can sympathize if you think that the feeling side of things is
getting short-changed, but I don't agree that the cure is to act as if it
can be understood alone.
>The nub of the thing is in Pond's concept of the antennae.
>The artists with their refined sensibilities (or whatever it
>is that accounts for their astounding productions) see things
>in new ways, and I mean by that PERCEIVE.
I don't think so. I think artists see things in right relations, and
said "seeing" is an intellectual activity that allows the senses their full
play. More than "allows." It is thinking with the intellect on the tips of
the senses. Uncle Ez's metaphor is a good one, but human antennae, after
the image has been made, need someone educated to read what's on the screen
( Guide to Kulchur). Otherwise it remains just an engaging picture.