Entry 1383 — A New Understanding of Art

I have a Major Announcement: I believe I have at last determined to my own satisfaction exactly what Art is, after long throwing definitions after it that didn’t quite work.  Its goal is Celebratory Affirmation of Existence.  I was going astray because it considered its goal to be Beauty, and Culture’s only Final Quests to be the artist’s pursuit of Beauty and the Verosopher’s search for Truth.   But I was always aware of narrative art, and it had little necessarily to do with the pursuit of beauty.   There was lyric poetry and narrative poetry, for instance.  Poems about simply being human that were minimally narrative or sensual existed, too, and I considered beauty sensual.

My thinking over the past several days (and for days at a time several more other times before that ) about what a poem is while working on Entry 18 finally made me realize that there are three kinds of Art: Aesthetic, Narrative and Anthrocentric Art.  All art, needless to say, is a mixture of the three, but one will be dominant—by a lot, much of the time.

Beauty is the goal of aesthetic art, triumph of narrative art and . . . siblinghood? of anthrocentric art.  I need a term for the feeling that we’re all in this together.  “Brotherhood” would be perfect if the feminists hadn’t destroyed the generic “he.”



11 Responses to “Entry 1383 — A New Understanding of Art”

  1. karl kempton says:

    art as its ideal vs what it has been reduce to????

  2. Bob Grumman says:

    Sorry, but I’m not following you, Karl. At this point in my thinking beauty, triumph and siblinghood might be consider the ideals that art shoots for, in my aesthetics. Or are you talking about poetry? It would have the same ideals; the ideals would not oppose what a poem is at its most reduced state but be constructed out of them.

  3. Ed Baker says:

    the answer to that
    that old question: “what is art ?”

    was answered by Lester Barrer in 1968.

    the answer also “answers” the “What is poetry?” question….

    “Whatever sells is art !”

  4. karl kempton says:

    that which helps transcend and move humankind to its next step in higher consciousness

  5. Ed Baker says:

    wowow ! “humankind” an heavy, heavy abstraction for art to move … to “transcend” this ‘humankind’ to an equally abstract “higher consciousness”

    could be the start of a new Religion

  6. Bob Grumman says:

    Your definition needs a few specifics, Karl–including at least one that indicates how art (which is what I assume your definition is of) does what you say it does differently from the many other things that try to do the same thing.

    Hey, Ed, Barrer was wrong: art is whatever does NOT sell!

  7. Ed Baker says:

    Yeah… Lester was wrong…. however
    he died and transcended … he is now sitting on a
    white-white cloud, playing his transcendental
    perfectly tuned harp and whistling Dixie !

    as for my art…and my poetry…. it-all will be worth more
    after I’m dead

    I am guessing that the “humanity” who ‘dig’
    especially Matisse and Pollack are taking a break from their
    Syrian and Iraqian and Nigerian and Ukrainian and Ugandan and Argentinean
    and South East D.C. struggle-for-food and a place in the rubble to shelter their family in can go to The Museum of Modern Art, pay the $10 entry fee and
    “transcend” to an “higher consciousness” …. and the move to Boca Raton !

  8. karl kempton says:

    example: the bhakti yoga movement in india that began circa 500 ce amongst devotees of shiva and then those of vishnu in the forms of krishna and rama. it in part helped push buddhism back to northern india, created a more egalitarian acceptance amongst castes, moved sacred poetry and texts from sanskrit to vanacular languages, brought sufis and bhaktis together, helped form shikism, in the bengal speaking area brought surviving buddhists from the islamic destruction together with sufis and bhaktis to create a unique poetic blending.

    look at impact of ch’an and zen poetry of respective nations.

    read aurobindo’s future poetry.

  9. karl kempton says:

    then there is the impact on islam culture by sufi poets

  10. karl kempton says:

    The Art of Haiku: Its History through Poems and Paintings by Japanese Masters Hardcover
    by Stephen Addiss (Author)
    blurb —

    In the past hundred years, haiku has gone far beyond its Japanese origins to become a worldwide phenomenon—with the classic poetic form growing and evolving as it has adapted to the needs of the whole range of languages and cultures that have embraced it. This proliferation of the joy of haiku is cause for celebration—but it can also compel us to go back to the beginning: to look at haiku’s development during the centuries before it was known outside Japan. This in-depth study of haiku history begins with the great early masters of the form—like Basho, Buson, and Issa—and goes all the way to twentieth-century greats, like Santoka. It also focuses on an important aspect of traditional haiku that is less known in the West: haiku art. All the great haiku masters created paintings (called haiga) or calligraphy in connection with their poems, and the words and images were intended to be enjoyed together, enhancing each other, and each adding its own dimension to the reader’s and viewer’s understanding. Here one of the leading haiku scholars of the West takes us on a tour of haiku poetry’s evolution, providing along the way a wealth of examples of the poetry and the art inspired by it.

  11. Bob Grumman says:

    Thanks for directions to others’ views of subjects I’m taking elsewhere, Karl.

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