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.”