Re: artlangs as engelangs
|From:||Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, July 21, 2007, 18:07|
On Sat, 21 Jul 2007 17:41:27 +0100, And Rosta wrote:
> Geehrt & gnaediger Joerg, I'll toppost a general response,
> confined to conlang-pertinent issues, because the discussion
> is getting very lengthy and is mostly only marginally connected
> to the topic of artlangs and engelangs. If I were to provide
> a longer reply it would be mostly taken up with correcting
> ubiquitous instances of you attributing to me opinions that
> have scant resemblance to any opinions I actually have;
> but I don't think anybody would be interested in reading
> such lengthy corrections.
True; so let us close this fruitless debate. I apologize for
my mistakes and misunderstandings. It seemed to me like you
had an opinion about the objectivizability of subjective
aesthetic notions that went diametrically against my own;
but that kind of discussion is off-topic and should not
be carried through in this list.
I am certain that you are not even close in your opinions
to certain political movements I have mentioned in my
previous posts; while I did draw such connections,
that was only to highlight to what abuse the assumption
of the existence of "absolute beauty" and similar ideas
can lead if consequently followed through.
> It's true that when I first attempted to articulate a definition
> of 'engelang' (in, say, 1999-2001) I said that engelangs have
> objectively assessable design goals and artlangs don't.
> (Where to 'assess' a goal is to judge how successfully it has
> been achieved.)
This, I reckon, is more or less the standard definition
in this community. Surely, the boundaries are somewhat fuzzy.
It can be argued that any conlang that claims to represent a
fictional human natural language can be tested against the
various universals of human language; if it is meant to be
a member of an existing language family (such as Romance),
it can be examined whether it is based on plausible sound
changes; nevertheless I would consider it an artlang
because the *intention* behind it - namely to paint a
realistic picture of an imagined reality - is artistic
> And that formulation of the definition does serve to get
> it across. But closer to the truth, IMO, is a formulation along
> the following lines:
> Engelanghood and artlanghood (or more generally 'engeworkhood'
> and artworkhood) are not intrinsic to the works themselves but
> rather are alternative ways of considering (thinking about,
> appreciating, etc.) them.
> To consider something as an engework is to consider it
> in terms of its objectively assessable design goals. To consider
> something as an artwork is to consider it in terms of the aesthetic
> relationship it has with its receptor (= reader, audience).
Yes. Art and engineering overlap to a large degree (as, for instance,
in architecture), and the ancient Greeks used the word _techne_ to
> Some works (namely, those we would normally call artworks)
> are far more productively viewed as artworks than as engeworks.
> But I argued that it is in some cases possible, but unproductive,
> to view as engeworks what we would ordinarily call artworks.
> Lastly, I was also maintaining that the aesthetic relationship
> an artwork has with its receptor is also susceptible to rational
> and empirical study.
This was the issue at which I took exception. Surely, there is
no such thing as absolute, objectively measurizable beauty.
Some criteria applied to artistic expression (such as the length
and the "tempo" of a piece of music, a film, etc.) may be measurable,
and you can of course conduct a survey whether people consider a
given work of art beautiful or ugly, but the idea of "absolute
beauty" is meaningless and leads to intolerance and suppression
of artistic creativity.
> But this is not pertinent to the artwork/engework distinction.
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