1/04/2013

Flannery O'Connor: Democratic Art?

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        I encounter more and more advocates for this kind of thing....and it bothers me. I believe it's to combat that generalized characterization of artists as "snobby." That's all well and good -- down with snobbery, I say. But we need to do away with both kinds of snobbery -- the educated and the uneducated. There are those whose only music experiences are pop songs and thus refuse to hear anything remotely educational about music for fear that gained understanding will "ruin" their enjoyment. Isn't it interesting that, in a way, they're absolutely right?

        I'm losing my focus. What was I trying to talk to about? Oh, yes, Flannery! I came across this:


“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.” 
-- Flannery O'Connor
        Huzzah Miss O'Connor! Art is accessible to those who can receive. Art is a language, it communicates -- why do audiences think they have a right to understand a painting the moment they look at it? Why do they think hours of training and work by the artist should be communicated in less than a second and, worse still, to everyone? If you don't know the language, how can you demand to receive what's being communicated? Art is not democratic.

        Beethoven believed that he was composing for future generations because the current one wasn't willing to "undergo the effort needed." And he was right. What if he had thought otherwise....?!

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