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Friday, September 16

What good is fiction?

Just a few quick thoughts on this subject before I go back to work.

I've often thought of fiction, art, and music as luxuries. They don't put food in your stomach or keep you warm at night. I've seen them as enhancements to life. Wonderful things that were yet, somehow, less important. Then someone agreed with me.

Art (including music and fiction) isn't just a luxury. You can't live on it forever, but it can make you want to keep living even when there's no food or shelter or you are missing other important things in your life. Art can inspire.

"Man cannot live by bread alone." Now there's a thought that was wasted in my youth.

3 comments:

Todfox said...

A short story by Theodore Sturgeon convinced a young Spider Robinson (also destined to write science fiction) not to commit suicide. If fiction can have that kind of impact it has a place in the world.

MC said...

The fine arts give me a sense of enrichment to my life. If there was no literature, no music, no dramatic arts, no paintings to admire etc., my life would consist of work and little else.

I don't particularly like the idea that my purpose in life is to survive from one day to the next, and pass my genes from one generation to the next.

I appreciate the finer things in life. I enjoy the few moments I have when I might be on a peaceful walk, and I can admire how wonderful the world is.

Sadly, I don't think many people have an appreaciation for the finer arts. My employer has no idea what consitutes good art, or good music. I might be putting my foot in my mouth when I postulate that his feelings on the fine arts are that they are a waste of time and effort. All he sees is the bottom line, and if he took five minutes of his time to listen to a song, that would be five minutes that he could have been making money.

It could be entirely possible that greed has squashed the public's appreciation of the finer things in life. It also doesn't help that commodities such as food, fuel, and other items neccessary for survival, cost more than they ever have in history.

Leo said...

If it wasn't my passion for some works of fiction I would literaly be dead by now. I gadly sacrifice eating to be able to pay for art and technology.

In my view Creativity is not a luxury. It's Survival on its own that is pointless.