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    Your Elvenar Team

I’m curious

SoulsSilhouette

Buddy Fan Club member
Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Dante, Socrates, McCaffery, Chalker, Flaubert and any number of mind candy writers like Jackie Collins have filled many of my days with deep satisfaction.... every single one of them write about people as they are.... flawed, irreverent, difficult, etc. I'm not fond of the human fantasists that do all the heartfelt goody two shoe, do no wrongs... I have never experienced anyone like that... treated like that but not in actuality like that. So give me reality with fantastic circumstances, deep themes, and something to seriously think on and I am a happy camper.
 

Nerwa

Well-Known Member
Lewis Carroll was my earliest influence, chapter-book wise. I had the BEST audio version to read along with - the Cyril Ritchard records released for the 100th anniversary. I listened to those albums countless times. Superb.
 

ajqtrz

Chef
Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Dante, Socrates, McCaffery, Chalker, Flaubert and any number of mind candy writers like Jackie Collins have filled many of my days with deep satisfaction.... every single one of them write about people as they are.... flawed, irreverent, difficult, etc. I'm not fond of the human fantasists that do all the heartfelt goody two shoe, do no wrongs... I have never experienced anyone like that... treated like that but not in actuality like that. So give me reality with fantastic circumstances, deep themes, and something to seriously think on and I am a happy camper.

There is always the question of if art should simply show what is or if it should try to give a vision of some kind about what reality ought to be. Western history has gone through periods where one or the other have been dominate but I think neither position can be absolute. There are many examples of how things can get twisted when you go too far in one direction or the other.

In cultures where literature becomes "reality" based and the characters seldom have strong moral positions, readers tend to be uninspired. In other words, without a strong vision of what is "good" the inspiration to be "good" is lacking. Sociologists have long noted cultures responding to strong archetypal characters when things are bad, and more "human" or "tragic" characters when things are good. It's as if we don't care so much about what is right and wrong when things are good, but need some clarification when they are not. The strong moral characters offer more hope than clearly flawed ones. More heros bring more hope.

But art is seldom neutral. It is nearly impossible to display art and not have some kind of moral vision, even if it's one of realizing all people are just people... Most are flawed creatures with a surprising strength to do well in the midst of a general propensity to fail.

Art reflects this dual nature of literature to reflect some reality at the very same time to tell us what that reality ought to be. Take, for instance, the current Netflix offerings. In almost drama at least one set of characters will be homosexual, (though it's often not revealed from the beginning). Does that reflect society as it is or as the writers wish it to be? Please don't bother answering that question except to yourself, because the point I'm making is not about Netflix or homosexuality, but about art in general. And all art reflects the view of the artist(s) in some way. Kenneth Burke once said that we are "goaded by hierarchy" and the hierarchy of "good" and "bad" permeates all we do. We can hardly speak without implying one thing is better or worse than another. So when we view the inclusiveness in Netflix's offerings, is it a conscious decision to be "more inclusive" or are the writers merely reflecting their experience? If the first then they are being a bit didactic, if the later just realists. Since I don't know all the writers I cannot tell, but I can tell you that the inclusiveness has been noted and commented upon. Many think it's "political correctness" run amok, and some that it just reflects reality as it "ought" to be. And that's the point. We often don't know if the art is reflective of what is or of what ought to be.

And even if we did know the writers position, in some places other positions are presented. Dostoevsky has, for instance, his protagonist lay out his reasoning for murder. We might see those opening chapters of Crime and Punishment as a logical conclusion to a long cultural argument and conclude that Dostoevsky intends us to come to the same conclusion as his main character. But then we read on and our opinion of what the writer is saying changes. Another very famous division is in his Brother's Karamazov. In that story the interplay is between a strictly intellectual but morally bankrupt brother, a passionate brother and a more or less socially conforming brother. Each has his comments on right and wrong and, as the story goes, it's sometimes difficult to say which is most representative of humans in general.

Ditto with War and Peace by Tolstoy, Doctor Zhivago by Pasternak, and just about all Eastern European writers of 18th and 19th centuries. And then, of course, the Bolshevik's introduced an era where all writing was in service of the "truth." It wasn't until the 1970's that Eastern European literature began to react and call into question the whole Marxist/Leninist stance. Solzhenitsyn's "Up from the Rubble" is a prime example of this movement...but they are, of course, positing a different "good." And, if one includes other communist writers (or those under it's influence" you can take a look at Trotsky's "In Defense of Marxism" to see one author's view of the necessity of "artistic freedom in service of the truth?" whatever that might mean. And so it goes.

I do think literature is usually in service of a culture and reflects where the writer thinks things ought to be more than where they actually are. It would be very difficult for any writer to actually know his cultures' stance on much since most writers write from their experience, not from scientific surveys. So a writer creating a reality television series and living in San Francisco might very well assume a larger percentage of homosexual presence in his/her story than would be if he/she were writing in some other city. Is he, therefore, reflecting reality or speaking of how it ought to be?

In the end then, art sits in the confusing place of both reflecting "reality" and and sometimes shaping it. It tells us what is, but slanted in the direction, most of the time, of what ought to be as well. And I doubt that will every change.

AJ
 

SoulsSilhouette

Buddy Fan Club member
All the best heroes are flawed. They triumph over the adversity that their flaws impose. They rise above it. That is what inspires me. No matter how small a person is, no matter what their station or difficulties, they conquer the inadequacies and triumph. They don't give in to their weaknesses. To me that is a hero. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to look in the mirror and see whats really there, not what you want to see, not what you hope to see, but what is.
 

ed1960

Buddy Fan Club member
There is always the question of if art should simply show what is or if it should try to give a vision of some kind about what reality ought to be. Western history has gone through periods where one or the other have been dominate but I think neither position can be absolute. There are many examples of how things can get twisted when you go too far in one direction or the other.

In cultures where literature becomes "reality" based and the characters seldom have strong moral positions, readers tend to be uninspired. In other words, without a strong vision of what is "good" the inspiration to be "good" is lacking. Sociologists have long noted cultures responding to strong archetypal characters when things are bad, and more "human" or "tragic" characters when things are good. It's as if we don't care so much about what is right and wrong when things are good, but need some clarification when they are not. The strong moral characters offer more hope than clearly flawed ones. More heros bring more hope.

But art is seldom neutral. It is nearly impossible to display art and not have some kind of moral vision, even if it's one of realizing all people are just people... Most are flawed creatures with a surprising strength to do well in the midst of a general propensity to fail.

Art reflects this dual nature of literature to reflect some reality at the very same time to tell us what that reality ought to be. Take, for instance, the current Netflix offerings. In almost drama at least one set of characters will be homosexual, (though it's often not revealed from the beginning). Does that reflect society as it is or as the writers wish it to be? Please don't bother answering that question except to yourself, because the point I'm making is not about Netflix or homosexuality, but about art in general. And all art reflects the view of the artist(s) in some way. Kenneth Burke once said that we are "goaded by hierarchy" and the hierarchy of "good" and "bad" permeates all we do. We can hardly speak without implying one thing is better or worse than another. So when we view the inclusiveness in Netflix's offerings, is it a conscious decision to be "more inclusive" or are the writers merely reflecting their experience? If the first then they are being a bit didactic, if the later just realists. Since I don't know all the writers I cannot tell, but I can tell you that the inclusiveness has been noted and commented upon. Many think it's "political correctness" run amok, and some that it just reflects reality as it "ought" to be. And that's the point. We often don't know if the art is reflective of what is or of what ought to be.

And even if we did know the writers position, in some places other positions are presented. Dostoevsky has, for instance, his protagonist lay out his reasoning for murder. We might see those opening chapters of Crime and Punishment as a logical conclusion to a long cultural argument and conclude that Dostoevsky intends us to come to the same conclusion as his main character. But then we read on and our opinion of what the writer is saying changes. Another very famous division is in his Brother's Karamazov. In that story the interplay is between a strictly intellectual but morally bankrupt brother, a passionate brother and a more or less socially conforming brother. Each has his comments on right and wrong and, as the story goes, it's sometimes difficult to say which is most representative of humans in general.

Ditto with War and Peace by Tolstoy, Doctor Zhivago by Pasternak, and just about all Eastern European writers of 18th and 19th centuries. And then, of course, the Bolshevik's introduced an era where all writing was in service of the "truth." It wasn't until the 1970's that Eastern European literature began to react and call into question the whole Marxist/Leninist stance. Solzhenitsyn's "Up from the Rubble" is a prime example of this movement...but they are, of course, positing a different "good." And, if one includes other communist writers (or those under it's influence" you can take a look at Trotsky's "In Defense of Marxism" to see one author's view of the necessity of "artistic freedom in service of the truth?" whatever that might mean. And so it goes.

I do think literature is usually in service of a culture and reflects where the writer thinks things ought to be more than where they actually are. It would be very difficult for any writer to actually know his cultures' stance on much since most writers write from their experience, not from scientific surveys. So a writer creating a reality television series and living in San Francisco might very well assume a larger percentage of homosexual presence in his/her story than would be if he/she were writing in some other city. Is he, therefore, reflecting reality or speaking of how it ought to be?

In the end then, art sits in the confusing place of both reflecting "reality" and and sometimes shaping it. It tells us what is, but slanted in the direction, most of the time, of what ought to be as well. And I doubt that will every change.

AJ
@ajqtrz
If I may paraphrase just a tad, you are saying that society as a whole of altered by art and culture in all forms and then as society adapts to the new state of mind/being art and culture alters it again, and create a self -fulfilling feedback loop?
Kinda Like in no particular order dark ages, renaissance, victorian, industrial, 30 years of world wars, nuclear and technology.

Just making sure I got that right?

Ed
 

SoulsSilhouette

Buddy Fan Club member
I've always believed that art imitates life, injects imagination/emotion and in some cases a certain sense of divinity, but life that imitates art is really shallow. Art can influence life, but that influence comes first from within an individual who shares that vision and alters the life around them, in whatever form they choose to do so... through public speaking, music, painting, sculpture, or what have you. The art cannot exist without the individual who creates the art. In this case, we know which came first... it was the chicken, not the egg.
 

ed1960

Buddy Fan Club member
hahahaha @ed1960 ... I am an old third shifter. I still eat chicken and pizza in the morning sometimes and breakfast at night. After all, as I have said in other places... EVERYTHING is better with bacon.
I get that but if you are a third shifter then what do you eat when YOU get up to start your day????

Ed
 

Zoof

Well-Known Member
idk. to me, mealtime is exactly that. A time. What sort of foods don't matter, as long as it satisfies.

Breakfast - The meal when you're at your groggiest. Easy to eat and energizing. Caffeine-filled. Because dying to your morning commute is bad.
Lunch - The meal that stops you from transforming into a monster in front of your coworkers. Because jail is a real thing.
Dinner - That meal that keeps you going until breakfast. Possibly a social event, where you tell people how lunch kept you from going to jail.

Exactly what order you eat them in and how many times you partake in them a day is up to you. Or what you eat at them. (cold pizza for breakfast. cold pizza for lunch. deep fried pizza for dinner)
Sure, it might not be right and proper to some people, but I have the advantage of being able to pull the Floridaman card
 

SoulsSilhouette

Buddy Fan Club member
I think when you invite someone to 'dinner' they have a certain expectation of what that is. The same with luncheon or breakfast... but then there is the Brunch, where there are no rules. Although, according to Mary Berry (one of my absolute favorite cooks) it must include eggs... but how you cook those eggs? Even deviled eggs count because there are EGGS. I'm not sure how to spell it, but shakshuka is an amazing dish from north Africa, I believe and when that is made by the right person is the absolute bomb... I have not yet perfected it, but I still have a few decades of cooking left in me. Everybody gots ta have a goal. My goals mostly involve FOOD. GLORIOUS FOOD.
 

ajqtrz

Chef
@ajqtrz
If I may paraphrase just a tad, you are saying that society as a whole of altered by art and culture in all forms and then as society adapts to the new state of mind/being art and culture alters it again, and create a self -fulfilling feedback loop?
Kinda Like in no particular order dark ages, renaissance, victorian, industrial, 30 years of world wars, nuclear and technology.

Just making sure I got that right?

Ed
Pitirim Sorokin's work influences me in terms of broad social changes. He develops a dialectical model between ideational and sensate centered societies and claims that's the pendulum of Western history, at least. I'm not too sure he's right but what you got out of it would fit his model more than mine. You might like to read up on him.

My view of art is that both aspects are always at work. It's not the art, but the artist that matters and the division is between "art order" (socially mandated art) and "art of exploration" (individual discovery art). Societies tend to let art go only so far and if the art is viewed as dangerous to the social fabric it's more restricted. On the other hand, individual artists are usually the one's with some kind of "vision" and are always, and have always, "pushed the envelope." When they get in charge art tends to be exploratory until it becomes "the correct" way to think of things, then it's taken over by the "art order" crowd because it now reflects the current state of social thinking. Whew, that was a mouth-full!

On the quest of which came first: the chicken or the egg, I have, sadly, put some thought into the question and thus it becomes a question of semantics. Sigh. If you have an egg you have to clarify what type of egg it is, right? If it comes from a chicken -- meaning you called the thing that laid the egg a chicken, then it's a chicken egg. However, if the thing that laid the egg was a Quark, then either the egg contains a Quark or a Chicken. If a chicken then the egg came first. So it depends on WHY you name the egg a chicken egg. If it came from a chicken the chicken came first, if it contains a chicken and came form a Quark, the egg comes first.

And now for another fun one. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? Same problem, different inputs. Depends on if you call sound a set of physical waves of a certain frequency, or if you call sound something heard. Obviously, the tree will make the same waves no matter if ears to hear are present or not, so if you define sound as a set of waves of a certain frequency then there sound, ears present or not. On the other hand, if you define sound as something heard of a certain frequencies, then ears would have to be present to hear, right.

And while I'm on a role. An ancient philosopher once argued that nothing could move from point A to point B since to do so it would have to move 1/2 the distance, then 1/2 of that distance, and then 1/2 of that distance, and so on. In other words, it would never arrive. The answer is that the object has to have a dimension and eventually the distance between it at it's center to it's edge will be greater than the distance remaining to be covered and thus, at that point it will have arrived. This depends, of course, on the definition of "arrival," but even taking that into consideration locating the "arrival point" of the object only changes the remaining distance...in other words, you end up at the same place.

Some clever friend of mine once asked, therefore, how it would be able to pass the target. The answer is that if you ask the question you are imagining an ending point passed the original target and that must, therefore be the actual target. Problem solved.

You'd be surprised at how much I ponder such silly things. But I do.

AJ
 
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