Statesboro, GA, USA
Though Essorant may be saying this in somewhat of a pell mell kind of way, I see his point. He seems to be addressing the element of "romance" or lack of it, in culture and art in particular. When I say romance, I mean something broader than the sexual aspect. It's more of a mixture of idealism, heroism, adventure, and nobility than anything else. It's a flavor that has been to a large degree forgotten, due to many factors I think. Emphasis upon individualism, and moral relativism has had a profound impact upon art and culture. And I just happen to agree with Essorant that a certain winsomeness has been lost. Is that across the board? No. But trends are pretty anti-traditional. Take for example surrealism in poetry ... sure certain restraints were cast away and much "freedom" was gained I suppose. But coherence, meaning and message were forfeited for the experiential aspect of poetry. And to be honest, I think alot of what has come of this "unshackling" has been extremely insipid art. Sure we departed from traditional forms and rules (which can be a good and healthy way to grow), but we also discarded values, time tested insights, and beauties along with them. We threw out the baby with the bath, to use a cliche. Just compare ancient architecture with modern or postmodern architecture. You will see a great movement away from regal stylism into sterile geometries of glass and steel, juxtapositioned angles and features which reflect absurdity, isolation, and uncertainty ... and when real culture, or styles are employed they are often caricatured. I'm not complaining that all contemporary art, or architecture is bad. But there is something to what Essorant is saying. It is easier felt than explained. But to make my case with the world of art, I will leave you with a quote from "The Art and Culture Network", an online resource centered around contemporary art ...
"But the art of the twentieth century is unlike that of other times and places. Its particular and fundamental characteristics are not based on some set of stylistic innovations or a consistency of interest or influence or even any kind of cohesion. The twentieth century is a dirty century, a period that absorbs everything around it and comes up with a scatology -- the study or focus on the bodily -- rather than an eschatology, a story or narrative with direction: a fall from grace, a movement towards utopia or destruction. The twentieth century has issued products of mixed and confused origins, fashioned of parts no longer distinct from one another. Sometimes it is an art of desperation, sometimes of utopia, sometimes of cynicism: only this messy century could have produced a Malevich, a Pollock, and a Warhol and claimed all of them to be modern."
And this coming not from a critic, but an advocate of modern artistic trends, says it all.
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (03-31-2003 02:13 AM).]