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Re: conlangs as art (was: Re: Wikipedia:Verifiability - Mailing lists as sources

From:And Rosta <and.rosta@...>
Date:Friday, February 29, 2008, 14:29
I will count this reply to Rick as a reply to the whole thread.

Rick Harrison, On 27/02/2008 18:37:
> I *think* And is basically saying that some artforms have more ability to emotionally > impact a person than others. (I might be wrong about this interpretation of his comment's > essence; if so I apologize in advance.)
Yes, pretty much. I was comparing artforms, though I spoke not only of emotional impact but also of "giving us profound insights into life". Think of the sort of impact that the greatest art has on one, and then ask whether every artform can provide works of art that have that kind of impact. [...]
> Can beholding someone else's conlang produce the same intensity of feeling as music or > cinema? How much of that is due to growing up in a culture that values or does not value > certain artforms? And mentioned flower arranging as an art/craft of the less moving > category, but if we had grown up in Japan a century or two ago, maybe we _could_ be > moved to tears or joy by a great work of ikebana.
I don't think anybody yet can fully tease apart the universal from the culturally-specific, but I'm happy to qualify my original remarks so that my assertions are made only of the Europeanoid culture that I suppose we all of us here belong to. Returning to what I wrote: "The same goes for, say, raffiawork, or origami, or flower-arranging, or dance, or model-railwaying. True, one can find great beauty and delight in all these things, but then one can find beauty and delight in anything if one views it in a sufficiently aestheticized way, even a dogturd;" -- and just as one may indeed be moved by the beauty of even a dogturd, so some colleagues have responded to this thread by pointing out that they have been moved by the beauty of Quenya. If you view some phenomenon in a highly aestheticized way, then you can have strong positive aesthetic responses to it. What happens in this sort of case is that the art-consumer has cultivated their own aesthetic sensibility to increase their receptivity, so the intensity of their aesthetic response is due more to their own cultivated sensibility than to remarkable properties of the aesthetic stimulus. But upon examination both of the world around me and of myself, I observe that some artforms readily yield works that excite intense aesthetic responses even in those of their consumers that have not acquired an especially cultivated propensity to appreciate that artform. Music and Narrative stand out above all others (and receptivities to these are surely species universals). And then, by saying "and I will adamantly not concede an aesthetic equivalence between a dogturd and the Moonlight Sonata. (To my mind there is a definite hierarchy of aesthetic value [...]", I wasn't seeking to impose some extraneous authoritarian value-hierarchy (of the sort that so panics Joerg so ill-at-ease in his Teutonic vantage-point); rather I was insisting on the necessity of striving to describe reality and to resist succumbing to the intellectual feebleness or laziness or stupefaction that takes the easy route by shrugging, saying "It's all subjective", and abandoning aesthetics as a branch of rational philosophical enquiry. --And.