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

From:And Rosta <and.rosta@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 26, 2008, 19:50
MorphemeAddict@WMCONNECT.COM, On 26/02/2008 18:32:
> In a message dated 2/26/2008 12:05:46 PM Central Standard Time, > dirk.elzinga@GMAIL.COM writes: > >> I also do not agree with the premise that language >> construction is an "art." I do not engage in language construction as an >> artistic endeavor. For me it really is like building a model train (a cliche >> by now, but appropriate here). It involves some skill and a fair amount of >> aesthetic judgment, and so is something that may better be called "craft." >> >> But of course I can only speak for myself, and I do not deny that others >> feel an artistic impulse in language construction. > > To many people crafts are a form of art.
I can say, truthfully & without hyperbole, that I have been saying on this list longer than anyone that conlangs can be art. Nevertheless I am also convinced that as an artistic medium conlanging does not lend itself to the creation of great art that, say, exalts us, or moves us deeply, or gives us profound insights into life. 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 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, with the Moonlight Sonata around the top, the dogturd around the bottom, and conlanging around the middle.) Fraternally, --And.


David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>