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To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food... Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM
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To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
merssad
Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2009 5:28:54 AM
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very wise analogy indeed
Algon
Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2009 6:13:07 AM
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The universality Tolstoy's aiming at isn't so simple as it seems. He actually believed in didactic art, became a kind of religious fanatic and tried to purge the gospels to arrive at a sort of mystic religion. I read he believed art should correspond to this religion's dogmatism and teach its doctrines.
If you think about it, most classic literature is not didactic. We try to understand it, but the very fact there are so many interpretations goes to say we don't really understand it, and we never will completely. Art is not really digestible, nor is it bought like food.
Luftmarque
Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2009 6:13:55 AM

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Daemon wrote:
To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it.—Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

I (1) do not agree with the implications of the great Tolstoy's analogy at all—in fact, I don't even think I would agree with the assumption that there is some flaw in a "very good" food that most people can't eat, and (2) find it more than a little ironic that Tolstoy himself produced works of art that are generally understood to be very good, but are certainly not the daily fare of the majority of men and may be on their way to being incomprehensible to a post-literate humanity. So there! Dancing

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
fred
Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2009 8:32:40 PM

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Is this art something like painting and sculpture... and literature?

"Supposin' I was to go to work and learn how to... to read writin'. Well, how'd I know that the feller that... that wrote the writin' was a writin' the writin' right? See it could be that he wrote the writin' all wrong. Here I'd be just a readin' wrong writin', don't ya see? You probably been doin' it your whole life, just a readin' wrong writin' and not even knowin‘ it." Festus
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