Friday, August 12, 2011

Astonish Me

Novelty in the presentation of a concept is a principal demand made by the fine arts upon the poet, even if the concept itself should not be new.

Immanuel Kant
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In theatre, film and TV drama the story always involves a crisis of some sort. And the story is built around an idea, a truism, a life lesson that is recalled or relearned for the audience.

Of course we could always wait until the audience is seated then have someone step out in front of the curtain and say "Patience and persistence in pursuer of a goal generally succeed in obtaining it. Thank you." Then take a bow and send the audience home. But to drive that lesson home it's much better, not to mention much more enjoyable, to show someone actually achieving a goal through all sorts of difficulties while practicing the acts of persistence and patience, to identify with that character and get involved in his life as the evening progresses.

All art is the pointing of a finger, the opening of a door, the shining of a light. What is seen as a result is important to the viewer and the listener as it is to the artist. The good artist is the one who can discover and open a door that has not been found before, to reveal the truth of things in a new perspective. Whenever I see a painting I always ask myself what I see in it I have never seen in any painting before. I do the same with music.

There is imitative art and there is creative art. And there are surprises. There's a famous story about Serge Diaghilev, the choreographer of the Ballet Russes in France. A young Jean Cocteau was to write the scenario for a new ballet and when he asked Diaghilev what he wanted the reply was "Astonish me." And he did.

To astonish one like Diaghilev who has seen it all is no easy task, but it isn't done through magic tricks or splashy productions. It is the effect of a deeply penetrating and inspired poetry that renders a cosmic truth clearer then has been remembered. It's what changes one's life.

I have been astonished a few times in my life by films I've seen, actors and musicians performances, poems I've read and paintings I've stood in front of. An artist will keep reaching into the unknown to find the amazing things that need to be found and known. There is no finer task for an artist.

Someday I hope I will astonish you.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.
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WEEKEND CONTEST

4 Weird Songs
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W REA K METQ VQAJQQI NZ AEQT DMEN JKUBWIR VKMQDEEA AFMEJRF AFQ FEAFEYTQ AE ZEY, VKVZ.

JFE JKT FKXWIR IKCEJQEIT JWAF LETQCFWIQ JFWUQ VEIQCKMA JKT KHKZ KA AFQ JKM?

GWRKMQAAQT KIS JFWTBQZ KIS JWUS, JWUS JENQI, AFQZ'UU SMWXQ ZEY GMKYZ, AFQZ'UU SMWXQ ZEY WITKIQ.

Good luck.
DB
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SUMMER QUESTION

Summer is moving along, people.

It's a long, hot, sticky summer, so here's a hot, sticky question for you. Don't let the recent New York State decision rob you of your thunder.

Same sex marriage. Should it be legal or not? If so, why? If not, why not?

dbdacoba@aol.com

Only 14 answers so far.

You have until the last day of summer, but don't dally.
I eagerly await your answer.

DB
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5 comments:

pacifica62 said...

No doubt about it, famous and not so famous poets, actors, artists and musicians have created great works that have added much to the fabric and culture of our society. Which brings me to the question, what about the rest of us who are not authors, composers, artists and do not possess the skills and talents that lead to recognition and greatness in these fields ----what do we contribute to society? Perhaps nothing.

DB said...

This entry was specifically about artists as a result of the opening quote from Kant. The answer to you question is in the previous entry "Hold The Straight Jacket"

Beth said...

One of the most joyful experiences for me, when reading, or looking at a piece of art, or listening to music, is to have it touch me in a certain way; something based on my experiences, or things I've studied. It's hard to put it into words, but there is something in it that resonates for me. It may not be what the author or artist intended; art can be highly personal. But it engenders a response in me, and when I feel like I "get it," it makes me happy.

I don't know if that makes any sense. :)

Hugs, Beth

Arlene (AJ) said...

DB, trust me when I say you astonish us every day with your words, thoughts, what you've accomplished to date and your positive attitude you have.....though we have never had the pleasure of meeting, it's an honor to call you a friend.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

A true artist is happy if they only reach or touch one, anything beyond that is gravy.