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Tuesday 30 November 2010

Some notes on the nature of Art... (2) Thoughts on Poetry

The poem as occasioning the question of meaning rather than giving the answer or the meaning itself.
Novels are stories or a work. Poetry, however, offers fewer occasions to be naively read, that is, as simple stories.
Question of meaning comes about from an imaginative stance taken towards a poem, even a syntactically rebellious one, that is primarily linguistic. Not a literal reading, not simply 'messages' or folk-tales in poetry. These tend to be bland anyway.
Meaning (the meaning of a poem) in the sense of signification. Its relation to a wider cultural story. No sense in talk of 'finding' meaning, it was already there.
Musicality of poetry. That 'these words' cannot be replaced by other words. The sense of finding the correct 'fit'. Poetry as a technique that must be mastered, it is not merely playing with words, in the sense that almost anything will do. Far from it, it is akin to building a very complex structure and trying to keep its balance.
Critical practices require more than simply imagination and the poem. A sophisticated critical reading would include many other aspects. The musicality, the cultural context, and so on. Indeed, the critical reading as being a work inspired by the former, in a sense the 'child' to the poetic 'parent' or at least have these connections in a familial manner.

Suggestion #2

Having an excellent memory and being entirely realistic about future events seems to be the ideal recipe for making one utterly utterly neurotic.

Monday 29 November 2010

Some notes on the nature of Art... (1) The Rules of Art

Many practices can be considered normative, but that doesn't mean that they all rely on explicit rules.
A normative activity is normative because it is first a social activity. These systems of conventions are assigned normative powers by cultures/society and there cannot be these 'rules' in art, otherwise they would be repeatable 'facts' (presumably).
Art work as a gesture* of the surrounding culture. Thus, intransitive, for how could I describe all the rules that apply to the work?
Even if we accept that rules must at some level go to form its basis.
Understanding could be considered as training in rules. Art not only a question of feeling. You only like what you understand. Can this always be right? What of absurdist art? The surprise of art. Showing us a new way of seeing something we already understand. Not new origination (potential impossibility) but new invention of use/seeing/synonym.
The artist, the critic, and the spectator share the same 'form of life' (Wittgenstein).
An artist's work isn't explicitly a following of rules.
Knowledge of rules of art available only after in hindsight, before they are only implicit/potential. The paradox of rules.
Rorty. 'We don't interpret art works, we use them.'

* [Gesture theory? No theory at all. Does thinking of art as a gesture help in any way? It shws us that here is something worth looking at. Something of VALUE.]

Suggestion #1

I have a distinct impression that Baroque music just seems to fit with a Winter snowscape scene better than any other.

Note: This is my Mum's garden in Scotland. There isn't nearly as much here in Mercia. In fact, there's hardly any.

Thursday 25 November 2010

I got better.

Well, I suppose this is a return of sorts.

You might notice that everything previously posted is gone. So, perhaps fresh start is a more appropriate description than a return. At any rate, I intend to return to blogging. Although I'm not really sure what I'll blog about.

A diary about life as a PhD student (and all the inevitable whinging) is possible but probably dull, as would be an academic work diary (publishing the things not good enough to get 'published').
Haven't really been writing much 'poetry' recently and don't feel like sharing what I have.
Current political climate tends to reduce me to bellowing and there are more than enough tub-thumping blogs out-there already.
I have no intention of using the blog as self-advertising, mainly as I've nothing to advertise, but also because there is always facebook if I'm feeling especially vain.

This is mainly why my 'short break' has been a year or so.

If anyone has any suggestions for blog topics I'd like to hear it, otherwise it'll most likely be more of the same rambling social criticism and general philosophical-aesthetic belly aching that I used to inflict. But more so.

Love & Peace.