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Friday, October 7

What good is fiction? Comments

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.

In response to my post on the good of fiction.

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. 3:39 AM

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.

I like this last part. I like being alone (or with people) at times and just enjoying the moment. I don't know whether that translates to art or fiction.

Maybe the arts are an elaborate way of enjoying the moment. It seems like it can also be, when taken to extreme, a way of avoiding reality. Sometimes reality is so bad that temporary or even long-term avoidance can be a good thing. Sometimes avoiding it, though, can keep one from taking actions to make things better.

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.
I often think this way. It's not about money for me, exactly, beyond an amount to have some basic comforts but just the feeling that there's lots to do and not much time. If I spend a lot of time reading a novel, I haven't spent time playing with my kids, interacting with other people I care about or doing practical, useful things for them or myself. There are a lot of things that are important, and I'm wondering how high on the list fiction and art should really be.

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. 1:57 PM
I don't know whether appreciation is squashed or not developed in the first place. I must admit, I fall asleep listening to classical music. I enjoy playing it ok, but if I'm working or playing, I'd much prefer to hear a song that I can sing along to. The words don't have to mean much as long as they don't offend me and the melody is good. A bonus is if it has some meaning for me. I might listen to a classical piece to relax and sleep. Occasionally, I'll enjoy reading about and listening to a piece. Knowing something about the background of the artist and development of the piece makes it more interesting. Often I don't want to take time to do that, though. I've got too much else I want to do.

The same tends to be the case for fiction. I like stories I can relate to well and get through quickly most of the time. Occasionally, I'll want something heavier and more thought provoking. Most of the time, though, by the time I'm engaging with art, I'm tired and want something that doesn't take a lot of mental effort to appreciate.

Leonor 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. 11:04 AM

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