Archive for January 8th, 2012

January 8, 2012

art and war ….

In December 1865, John Ruskin gave a commencement a speech to the cadets graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. It was based on a startling thesis – that war is a necessary precondition to art.
“All pure and noble arts are founded on war; no great art ever yet rose on Earth, but among a nation of soldiers. There is no art among a shepherd people if it remains at peace. There is no art among an agricultural people if it remains at peace. Commerce is barely consistent with fine art, but cannot produce. Manufacture not only is unable to produce it, but invariably destroys whatever seeds of it exist. There is no great art possible to a nation but that which is based on battle.”
January 8, 2012

The Dreams of Readers ….

When we open a book, it seems that we really do enter, as far as our brains are concerned, a new world — one conjured not just out of the author’s words but out of our own memories and desires — and it is our cognitive immersion in that world that gives reading its rich emotional force. Psychologists draw a distinction between two kinds of emotions that can be inspired by a work of art. There are the “aesthetic emotions” that we feel when we view art from a distance, as a spectator: a sense of beauty or of wonder, for instance, or a feeling of awe at the artist’s craft or the work’s unity. These are the emotions that Montaigne likely had in mind when he spoke of the languid pleasure of reading. And then there are the “narrative emotions” we experience when, through the sympathetic actions of our nervous system, we become part of a story, when the distance between the attendee and the attended evaporates. These are the emotions Emerson may have had in mind when he described the spermatic, life-giving force of a “true book.” …

Wonder, silence, gratitude

one who is going upstream ......

SS24 - in search of the bull !

one who is going upstream ......

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