Notes on the arts
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Notes on the Arts

NB: This page is a partial translation of the full version in Russian.
Hopefully, more notes will be translated later on.

Beauty is often perceived as a mystery, perfection is full of spell. This is quite natural, since syncretic reflection is a necessary preliminary stage for analytical reflection, comprehension. Before any analysis, one needs a well formed object at sight; syncretic reflection is needed to distinguish such an object from the rest of the world. As long as the image remains imperfect, it does not stimulate further research; however, a trace of perfection is an immediate signal to intellect that there is a problem to rationally cope with.

Rock music did not justify the hopes of those who sought oblivion, deemed to escape from reality. It is too serious for that. Then comes disco, then techno, etc. But nothing will help. Since, in its core, any good music is thought and call for action. Any kind of music is nothing but serious.

Art is to produce reference points.

True art is to make people love people.

Artlessness in the arts = mediocrity.

What is the difference between a great artist and a genius? One becomes great sensitively expressing the ideas that are just taking shape in the society, sometimes against one's own convictions. Geniality is the capacity of being ahead of time, the talent of doom.

No genius is recognized.

The art is the construction of experience.

Everything can become art, but some arts are only a temporary medium to maintain certain ideas until a truely artistic expression is found.

Decorating the New Year's tree is like abstract art, akin to painting. This ancient rite might bring more light to the origin and essence of art as such.

Maybe, a good translator must be imitator by his nature. Those who are creative on their own will leave more of themselves in the translation, with the original in the shade. One must become the author for a while, to properly express him in another language. Similarly, on the stage, a bad actor cannot play but himself.

Yes, artistic (or scientific) inspiration is apparently like orgasm. It has to be properly prepared, it demands mobilization and concentration, it abruptly comes and leaves one exhausted and happy. However, this spiritual orgasm is much stronger, and those who have ever experienced it will find the physiological prototype palid and dull. Some try to meet a momentary lack of inspiration with sex, but they can hardly be satisfied.

Goethe was wrong saying that Bach is all harmony. It is rather before Bach, that the musicians took for their duty to keep harmony and bring beauty. Even after Bach, for centuries, people thought of music in that way. Bach was maybe the first to recognize that music comes in the struggle of the opposites, being akin to our life as its continuation. Bach has stolen perfection from heaven to make it earthly — though by no means more accessible. Thought demands more effort than pleasure.

The humanity is a part of nature. And this part develops following its own objective laws. That is, the future of the humanity can be foreseen, forefelt, and represented in the today's forms. In particular, this is what art does.

Shakespeare is often praised as the creator of the drama of characters, as the opposite of the drama of fate in the Ancient tragedy. Logically, the next level of drama must synthesize these opposites. It may be interesting to compare Shakespeare's Othello with the poem Requiem for a madman by Gilles Thibaut (Requiem pour un fou, 1976). The two pieces are similar by the plot: in both cases a man kills the woman he loves. For Shakespeare, the tragic dénouement follows from the inner disposition of the characters kept within the common mentality; the collision entirely lies in the sphere of everyday life, and any universality is only psychological, representing the behavioral models of a historically limited social organization. At first sight, at Thibaut, one can see the same blind jealousy, the same acquisitive attitude to a woman... However, in this case, the tragedy has much deeper roots, since the man's jealousy is not induced by a particular rival, but rather by the whole world; the man cannot imagine the woman beyond their love; any touch of the world would insult this love — so, he kills her, and dies himself. This returns us to the Ancient tragedy at a new level, with the characters expressing a general idea: "pour qu'un grand amour vive toujours il faut qu'il meurt, qu'il meurt d'amour". Love carries death in itself and becomes immortal only growing past life.

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