Thursday, April 19, 2007

the rules of art

To create, one must first set boundaries, impose rules within which one may let imagination reign unconfined. Art without boundaries is chaos; imagination without borders is self-indulgence. Effective art communicates, but successful communication requires a language, and languages follow rules. Whether the rules are set by oneself or by convention, without them, communication fails, and art becomes merely for the creator. We do not call this art, but therapy. Sometimes, the rules which confine a work of art are understood by only a few, and such art is only art for those few. To the rest, the art is opaque, therapy from which they cannot benefit. St. Quentin and St. Robert have committed this sin: they have presumed the competence of the many in a language of the few. But the many are mere amateur linguists; they comprehend only languages without subtlety. The punishment for these sins is eternal torture. And we multi-linguists have gained a poem, but lost the poets, and even the opportunity for poetry.

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