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Re: Lighting Some Flames: Towards conlang artistry

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 12, 2002, 15:48
Jesse Bangs scripsit:

> It should not need to be proved that some art is better than others.
Indeed, it should not; all such attempts are futile. They contribute not to the advancement of knowledge, but only to the history of taste, which vacillates and has fads and fashions and market booms (and slumps). The proper place of evaluative judgment is in the eye/ear/brain of the consumer of art, when choosing to read/look at/listen to/study some particular works and not others. Whatever you find rewarding and suggestive to work with, by all means work with. Notoriously, schools and manifestos are appropriate to artists who are not fully established in their art, and it is quite common for the works produced under the manifesto to be utterly contrary in spirit to what the manifesto says. (See Imagism, which was supposed to be about tightly visualized concreteness, and wound up producing poems of allusion and mystery.)
> Currently, this is almost entirely lacking on the Conlang list. When > someone posts texts or grammatical sketches, the responses are generally > entirely congratulatory, or they are concerned only with correcting > technical errors or confusions within the grammar.
"[W]e are all here not to see how many potatoes we can pick, but to get the potatoes picked before winter." --Spider Robinson
> The study of the history of art, music, or literature is a long > series of redefinitions of what is proper, what is better, and a constant > critical re-evaluation of everything that's gone before.
Northrop Frye rightly called this "leisure-class gossip": "[Meaningless criticism] includes all casual, sentimental, and prejudiced value judgments, and all the literary chit-chat which makes the reputations of poets boom and crash in an imaginary stock exchange. That wealthy investor Mr. Eliot, after dumping Milton on the market, is now buying him again; Donne has probably reached his peak and will begin to taper off; Tennyson may be in for a slight flutter but the Shelley stocks are still bearish." --_Anatomy of Criticism_ (1957)
> And once again, if you don't like it form your own school.
"Or else don't." --Thomas A. Cowan -- John Cowan <jcowan@...> I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith. --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>