Jejudo, South Korea
I don't have time to go into everything here but Sven, Kamla's right -- you are touching on some points near and dear to my heart.
"That's all well and good, but what about someone else who hasn't? How are they supposed to know? What do we tell them when we discover that their writing is, what we would call Cliche? Read more poetry? Is that really the only way that we can avoid using cliche?"
--Well, yeah. Read, listen, watch what others do. It's all there. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be a cliche.
"And who says that your assumptions are correct? I know that it's all in the mind of the beholder, but still. . ."
--Why does this bother you? Anybody can be wrong on a specific point. You have to make up your own mind. How does one do that? Does the image or phrase conjure up a vibrant feeling, a newness, or can it be skimmed because it's already been said? Here, the question involves whether you are trying to read the words or trying to get through the words (telepathic empathy).
"Does a poem, or a book get worse each time you read it? Possibly, if you don't like it. . . but does it if you do like it? And how do you know what you like and what you don't like? Is it convention? Society? Genetics?"
--Sven, if you have time, please check out the philosophy thread on psuedo-intellectualism. I think, hope my position is clear there.
"What I'm trying to say is that you can say that "You only get one first time" and I can say "You get lots of first times". . . but who's right? And why?"
--This one's easy. How do you define first time? There is also only one second time, one third time and so forth. To say there are many first times is either to take my sentence out of context (yes, there's a first time for laughter and a first time for crying etc.) or to reify the words to where they no longer have meaning.
"Why is a movie like Pearl Harbor which has been called "Trite", "Cliche", and "Unimaginative" possibly going to make millons of dollars worldwide?"
--It's safe, visually satisfying, and you already know how it ends. It perpetuates the idea of certainty and self importance. Everybody loves that.
Sven, you seem to be searching for some sort of objective foundation (there isn't any), and if so, you are kind of indirectly proving a point I've made elsewhere -- subjectivity needs objectivity to stabilize itself.
But that's another thread.
Talk to ya later,