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ART & ORGANISM
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 Class Notes
reposted on April 11
Last week (Jan 22), THINGS that STOOD OUT for some people that can be connected to core content included TS Eliot’s idea of “stillpoint.” It was connected through CHANGE and through the arresting of a process that leads to a “permanent” work of art. That touched on more-or-less ABSTRACT versus FIGURATIVE art. “ABSTRACT” has many properties beyond that of “selective emphasis.” Watch for that.
What art “represents” can be at many levels
SO, TIME is an issue: as the scholar Ellen Handler Spitz put it, the aesthetic ideal dissolves categories of time and space and absorbs into itself past memories and anticipation of the future (1985:142).
“Art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm—an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.” (Saul Bellow 1915). Such stillness is a rare and precious “momentary stay against confusion,” said Robert Frost.
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshness; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is…
IN TIME, there is a past, present, future … and the still point — identified in TS Eliot’s Burnt Norton:. Read about it, hear it read, see the words at https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/11/18/t-s-eliot-reads-burnt-norton/
A&O notes ABOUT TIME
THINGS that “emerged” from discussion of 2nd class meeting
THINGS that you reported “stood out” from our last meeting
[i]. From my 1988 paper, “Art, Science, Arete”: Emile Zola (writing of art) wrote the phrase “fragments of nature seen through a temperament.” (Emile Zola (1886), “Proudhon et Courbet,” In Mes Haines (Paris : Bibliothèque- Charpentier, 1923). Originally published in 1886. “Une œuvre d’art est un coin de la creation vu a travers un tempérament” (p.25). Zola later changed `creation’ to `nature’. Zola quotes Claude Bernard in The Experimental Novelnear the end of Part I: “The appearance of the experimental idea,” he says further on, “is entirely spontaneous and its nature absolutely individual, depending upon the mind in which it originates; it is a particular sentiment, a quid proprium, which constitutes the originality, the invention, and the genius of each one.”
NEW GLOSSARY. NOTICE that we have a cumulative GLOSSARY: every year it grows as new research or thinking draws ideas (and the terms that represent them) into our spheres of interest. Look in on the GLOSSARY
IDEAS we touch on and attempt to connect in a meaningful narrative in our third seminar meeting: