Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Danger of Vapid Art, Or, On the Existence of Beauty

"There is a danger in exposing yourself to too much vapid art. It can weaken your judgment and erode your sensibilities, until the time comes when you see things that are merely passable, and somehow think that they’re good." - from David Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants

I read this first of all as a warning to me as a writer. I want to write good stories. Stories that entertain, yes, but also have something more to them. I don't want my work to be vapid.

Of course, it's also a warning to me as a reader. The point of Farland's Daily Kick is to inspire writers to read inspirational material. Good stuff in, good stuff out.

But I also see this quote as a minority report. On two fronts. One being the cliche that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And to an extent, I suppose, that's true. We all have preferences. Yet, and this is the second issue, a growing voice in our culture claims that there is no such thing as beauty at all. It's not that beauty is subjective; beauty doesn't exist. There is no such thing as intrinsic beauty.

I'll leave it for you to tease this out as to why people might believe this. (Hint: it has to do with the word 'good.') But suffice it to say that I'm part of what is fast becoming the minority report.
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