4 may. 2005

If you agree with me, but using language I don't at all identify with, you will convince me I'm wrong. As I read Silliman's blog each morning, I come to distrust more and more my own propensity to invest in rankings and hierarchies. [It's not so much that I disagree with Ron's invididual judgments, but that they are often stated as applications of a categorical rule. (His suspicion that memorizing poetry takes one out of the Buddhist here-and-now is an oversimplification, at best. An attempt to make a categorical statement based on his own propensities. {For me, the memorization of poetry is an involuntary act, for example, you teach a poem and at the end of the class period, you find you have it memorized. Music when soft voices die vibrates in the memory. I wouldn't want to disparage non-memorizers of poetry based on my own feeling that memory is essential to the entire process of understanding poetry.})]

On the other hand, I reject what I perceive as the easy way out, simply saying "de gustibus non est disputandum." Debates about "taste" are the only debates worth having here at Bemsha Swing. That's the whole reason Bemsha Swing exists. Individual taste should only be invoked as a last resort, not as a way to forestall discussion. It is a kind of strategic withdrawal from debate, necessary at times, but not a good starting point.

6 comentarios:

Jordan dijo...

My professor Mary Mothersill staked a lot on taking Kant's side against Santayana -- that beauty is a quality that inheres in a work or does not; its presence is not a debatable matter of taste but a true or false question. You either experience a feeling of beauty in the presence of a work, or you don't.

Jonathan dijo...

___

Yes, but what's interesting about Kant's position is that he views aesthetic perception as a subjective judgment that has objective validity. That is, it's a feeling YOU have but for which you must claim universal validity. It's that movement back and forth from the objective to the subjective that makes it tricky.

Jordan dijo...

Well yeah, except that "object" and "subject" are meaningless categories, except in grammar.

Henry Gould dijo...

Yeah, meaningless. & I'm glad I started this blog called Bemsha Swing, so I can post my Jordan posts & have my Jonathan me respond on this computer that I invented using the Microsoft Co. which I produced out of my subjective object-making faculty, outside my inside.

Jordan dijo...

Ah there's the old Hen. Glad to be in this reciprocal experience with you again old Hen.

Henry Gould dijo...

Me not old Hen! Me young Jordan! Me Subject Object Rooster Chicken!