It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:22 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 90 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:31 pm
Posts: 3154
yovargas wrote:
Passdagas the Brown wrote:
Your comment makes an assumption that I find very problematic. That the definition of a "flaw" in literature is settled and agreed upon. Opinions of art and literature are subjective, no matter the attempts to systematize the good and the bad. No offense to those who make literary criticism their lives, but one simply cannot fully professionalize the practice of writing and criticizing literature.


This is something that almost always comes up in discussions of art and the logical endpoint of this perspective is that criticism becomes meaningless and anything can be art if you want it to be. While some people will argue that this is a legitimate view of art, the end result of it is the modern-day phenomena of museums filled with nonsense being passed off as something people should care about. I don't buy it one bit.

Art needs honest attempts at objective criticism (such as your last few excellent posts in response to ax) or art descends into emptiness.

(Also, your quote goes very much against the grain of recent statements like "I really have no respect for the criticism of the dwarven singing." If it's all subjective, you should respect all viewpoints!)


A few clarifications.

1. I am not advocating for 100% relativity in discussion and criticism. There are some rules of thumb, though to elevate them beyond "guides" and into "science" is a mistake. Yes, one can safely say that Apocalypse Now is a more artistically sound film than Kazaam, featuring Shaquille O'Neil. But...

2. There is a difference between respecting a viewpoint (or disrespecting it) and arguing that it is illegitimate. This is the difference between a matter of taste and a matter of fact. In that context, I will happily disrespect the opinion that Kazaam is a better film, but I will not say that it is wrong. Identifying the parameters for "right and wrong," or "good and bad" are not prerequisities for meaningful debate about the arts. It is enough to lay out some common guidelines, and argue within those guidelines, or defend those guidelines if they are assaulted (or even revise them, if the assault succeeds)! In short, vigorous debate about the arts may be more meaningful because there are far fewer (or no) certainties, as we have in the physical sciences. The theory of relativity is basically right. Full stop. Is Wagner's Ring Cycle any good? Pages and pages of discussion.

3. I have often heard your criticism of modern art, in particular, and all I can say is that I disagree with it (if indeed you are referring to modern art). Though I have a soft spot for ancient and "flat" medieval art myself, I also love the minimalism of good modern art (and include some of it in my home). To me, a lot of it harkens back to simpler forms (sometimes tribal, or basically geometric) that predate the "scientificization" of art during the Renaissance (with its heavy emphasis on 'perspective'), and I find that satisfying. I'll take a Rothko or a Rauschenberg over a Michelangelo any day. It's also why, among Tolkien artists, I prefer Cor Blok to John Howe. Is that an illegitimate opinion? I don't think so. Do you have to respect it? No, I don't think so.

4. I agree with the need for objective criticism. Some typologies, frameworks and standards are necessary for constructive debate. However, I do not believe these structures are indestructible. If someone came along and compellingly demonstrated why my taste in art was built on a shaky foundation, I would keep an open mind about it. After all, just because we don't "like" something, it doesn't mean that it is not a "something." And if we consider it for a while, we may find that we like it!

5. Substantiating one's opinion is important. Just saying "I like Tolkien's landscape descriptions" is certainly not enough, if one is making the case for it being "good writing." That is why I elaborated on it, and am happy that you and axordil encouraged me to do so! The same goes for someone who likes the red dot on a canvas in the MoMA. Why do you like it? Why is it art? If you have thoughtful answers, I'll listen.

- PtB


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:53 pm 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12879
Location: Florida
Quote:
I have often heard that criticism of modern art, in particular, and all I can say is that I disagree (if indeed you are referring to modern art). Though I have a soft spot for ancient and medieval art myself, I also love the minimalism of good modern art. To me, a lot of it harkens back to simpler forms (sometimes tribal) that predate the "scientificization" of art during the Renaissance, and I find that satisfying.


A sidenote but I love a lot of modern art, usually much more than pre-1800s art. I love Rothko, for example, and Kandinsky is probably my favorite artist. But damn if you don't walk through the MoMA (which I went to this year and looooved!), see something like this...


Image


...and think, man, I wish the critics were being a bit more critical.

(FYI, that shiny pink plank sold for over $200,000. I'm fairly certain you could get it at IKEA for around $20...............)

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:31 pm
Posts: 3154
yovargas wrote:
Quote:
I have often heard that criticism of modern art, in particular, and all I can say is that I disagree (if indeed you are referring to modern art). Though I have a soft spot for ancient and medieval art myself, I also love the minimalism of good modern art. To me, a lot of it harkens back to simpler forms (sometimes tribal) that predate the "scientificization" of art during the Renaissance, and I find that satisfying.


A sidenote but I love a lot of modern art, usually much more than pre-1800s art. I love Rothko, for example, and Kandinsky is probably my favorite artist. But damn if you don't walk through the MoMA (which I went to this year and looooved!), see something like this...


Image


...and think, man, I wish the critics were being a bit more critical.

(FYI, that shiny pink plank sold for over $200,000. I'm fairly certain you could get it at IKEA for around $20...............)


Point taken. That's pretty much an unassailable example of your argument. The leaning shiny pink plank is not, in my not-so-humble opinion, any good! :)

Also, you scored a lot of points with your comment on Kandinsky. He's my second-favorite artist, next to Gauguin!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:19 pm 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12879
Location: Florida
And just last week I bought a gorgeous Gauguin print to hang on my wall. :)


Since we're on the topic, I'll point you to an old thread that was one of my favorites round here:

viewtopic.php?t=90

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:31 pm
Posts: 3154
Great thread.

You know, I am so used to the anti-modern art opinion (for some reason especially acute in fantasy circles) that I simply assumed you were aiming at it as a whole.

An important lesson: Never, ever, assume! :)

Oh, and Gaugin is God. It is hard to describe how much joy his paintings bring me. He's one of the very few artists that elicits an almost entirely uncritical reaction in my mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:46 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
Quote:
He's one of the very few artists that elicits an almost entirely uncritical reaction in my mind.


This is almost always a good thing...assuming the uncritical reaction is good. :)

There's a lot of mediocre and worse modern art out there. Then again, there's a lot of mediocre and worse pre-modern art out there too.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:31 pm
Posts: 3154
axordil wrote:
Quote:
He's one of the very few artists that elicits an almost entirely uncritical reaction in my mind.


This is almost always a good thing...assuming the uncritical reaction is good. :)

There's a lot of mediocre and worse modern art out there. Then again, there's a lot of mediocre and worse pre-modern art out there too.


Then again, there's a lot of mediocre and worse everything out there!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:15 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
Quote:
Then again, there's a lot of mediocre and worse everything out there!


One of the things I've noticed since self-publishing became a thing is that, as much as I lament the state of editing for trade books, self-pubbed stuff is, on the whole, worse. Not just in the condition of the prose, thought that's the first thing one sees; after all, it takes a few pages to determine that characters are flat, and often most of a book before a trite and/or illogical plot becomes plain.

Sturgeon's Law is a conservative estimate.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:18 am 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12879
Location: Florida
The difference between old bad art and new bad art is that to be considered "good" you at least had to display some technical proficiency. So even if the work is trite or whatever, at least you can admire the skill involved. Even those who do not admire Tolkien's novel have to appreciate the level of shear skill and imagination on display.

And when the skill necessary to get someone to consider your art gallery-worthy drops to zero, Sturgeon's Law goes into mega-overdrive.

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:50 am 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
There's still skill involved. It's just more along the lines of self-promotion than draughtsmanship. Same goes for self-pubbing authors--there's great virtual piles of advice on how to get exposure, use social media, et al, and relatively little about writing something worthwhile and getting it professionally edited before you heave it into the public view.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:31 pm
Posts: 3154
yovargas wrote:
The difference between old bad art and new bad art is that to be considered "good" you at least had to display some technical proficiency. So even if the work is trite or whatever, at least you can admire the skill involved. Even those who do not admire Tolkien's novel have to appreciate the level of shear skill and imagination on display.

And when the skill necessary to get someone to consider your art gallery-worthy drops to zero, Sturgeon's Law goes into mega-overdrive.


Perhaps. But most of those modern artists who produce work that looks like it took little to no talent (take the pink plank, for example) are very skilled artists on a number of technical levels. It's just that artists are always looking for new ways to break the rules they know (and you can generally tell when someone knows the rules, and is breaking them, rather than breaking them simply because he/she doesn't know what he/she is doing), and also looking for ways to capture the zeitgeist, which is the holy grail of most artists who wish to be immortalized at prestigious museums like the MoMA.

For the artist in this example, perhaps they believe they are saying something relevant about today?

I admit, a shiny, pink plastic leaning plank does remind me a bit of the millennial generation. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:36 pm 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12879
Location: Florida
If you read about Mr. Plank's process (he made a whole career out of these), there actually is a great deal of difficult, technical work involved in producing them. I suspect part of the supposed point, if there is a point, is in the labor involved but since that's completely non-evident in the final product (I saw it first hand and it really does look like the Ikea shelf in my living room) the labor is rather pointless IMO.

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:31 pm
Posts: 3154
Maybe the point is that the modern world is full of things that are expensive, difficult to produce, shiny and garish, but generally meaningless?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 522
Here's one inconsistency I forgot about: for a long time, it's bugged me that Sam doesn't attract Sauron's attention from using the Ring so close to Mordor.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:42 am
Posts: 28
Location: U.K.
kzer_za wrote:
Here's one inconsistency I forgot about: for a long time, it's bugged me that Sam doesn't attract Sauron's attention from using the Ring so close to Mordor.

IIRC, I think Tolkien takes particular care to make a distinction and ensure that Sam takes the Ring off when he crosses into Mordor.

EDIT:

Passdagas the Brown wrote:
Alatar wrote:
We have Sauron manipulating the weather on the gap of Caradhras from Mordor, with pinpoint accuracy, followed by a direct attack from magic wargs who disappeared once killed. That sort of power should have been completely unopposable.


Never in all my readings did I interpret any of that as omnipotence. There are baddies that are influenced, in various ways, by the will of Sauron (who is, like Morgoth, deeply connected to Middle Earth), but I don't for a minute believe Sauron was directly commanding those beasts, and those events, such as on Caradhras.

I appear to have killed this thread, sadly, but I think there's evidence in the text to contradict Alatar's reading, that goes beyond personal interpretation. Presuming Alatar is referring to this passage from the chapter 'The Ring Goes South':
Quote:
‘I wonder if this is a contrivance of the Enemy,’ said Boromir. ‘They say in my land that he can govern the storms in the Mountains of Shadow that stand upon the borders of Mordor. He has strange powers and many allies.’

‘His arm has grown long indeed,’ said Gimli, ‘if he can draw snow down from the North to trouble us here three hundred leagues away.’

‘His arm has grown long,’ said Gandalf.

I think Gimli's words pretty clearly express incredulity at Boromir's old wives' tale. Gandalf's statement doesn't correct Gimli's incredulity, it's just a statement of fact - that Sauron has grown strong. He makes no comment on whether Sauron is strong enough to control the weather west of the mountains.

Soon after, Tolkien also has Aragorn (and Gimli) rebut any notion that Sauron is to blame for any of the difficulties they are currently facing:

Quote:
‘We cannot go further tonight,’ said Boromir. ‘Let those call it the wind who will; there are fell voices on the air; and these stones are aimed at us.’

‘I do call it the wind,’ said Aragorn. ‘But that does not make what you say untrue. There are many evil and unfriendly things in the world that have little love for those that go on two legs, and yet are not in league with Sauron, but have purposes of their own. Some have been in this world longer than he.’

‘Caradhras was called the Cruel, and had an ill name,’ said Gimli, ‘long years ago, when rumour of Sauron had not been heard in these lands.’


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:00 pm
Posts: 522
Quote:
A parallel criticism is the difference between the Nazguls' apparent ineffective in the early chapters versus their comparative strength in the later chapters, particularly that of the Witchking himself. That can partly be explained by the fact that they were bolstered by Sauron himself, but I think it is mostly a product of exactly the writing dynamic that Alatar references.

Maybe I'll post more in detail on this later, but after finishing book 2 of LotR on my re-read and rereading The Hunt for the Ring in Unfinished Tales, I definitely agree that the changing strength of the Nazgûl is kind of a mess. And it's not just that they get stronger later (that would be more explainable) - their power fluctuates wildly even just in the early story.


Last edited by kzer_za on Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:49 pm 
Offline
Aagragaah
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 12820
Location: Out on the banks
yov and PtB, that discussion of modern art was really insightful. I'd like to hear more. (Thread split, perhaps?)

_________________
Image
‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:40 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 32714
Frodo leaving the dirty dishes for Lobelia to clean up bothers me every time. Other than that, I think LOTR is pretty much perfect. ;)

_________________
Woods is most felt. Nice! it's gentle on your mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:48 am 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12879
Location: Florida
Passdagas the Brown wrote:
Oh, and Gaugin is God. It is hard to describe how much joy his paintings bring me. He's one of the very few artists that elicits an almost entirely uncritical reaction in my mind.



Sorry you lost out, PtB, I know it was a close call. Maybe next time!

Gauguin painting breaks sale record at nearly $300m

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:45 pm 
Offline
not something I would recommend
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 12879
Location: Florida
(Didn't know where else to put this...)

This is kinda ridiculous and kinda great. :)
The Lord Of The Rings Eagle Plot Hole Explained:
http://geeklyrocks.com/2015/04/the-lord ... explained/

_________________
everything happens so much

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 90 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group