art & struggle?

This is a neat piece on the Weimar republic, which could be argued to be another example of a stressed and imperfect scenario resulting in an extremely productive and expressive populace. It could also be argued to have been quite a good set-up, of course, but the fact that the time is still so unusually productive seems indicative of something. Perhaps it’s a good set up in a stressed and challenging period & place. That could also be argued for some of the other successful artistic communities I was thinking about, like the kind of bohemian communities that seem to thrive momentarily in interesting neighborhoods, like SoHo in the 70s… These are exciting and positive partly because they have a novelty advantage.

This was also an intriguing piece from the LRB.

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One Response to “art & struggle?”

  1. Dennis Osborne Says:

    I find it interesting how pockets of energy form at various times, as with the transcententalists, Emerson and Thoreau or the Beatnik poets of the 50s. Sounds like the Weimar Republlic had its time, too. Also demonstrates money can sometimes be a plus rather than negative for creative energy. What killed off the Weimar Republic wasn’t Hitler but rather a downfall in the economy. The same thing happened to the roaring 20s here.

    One thing related to change that occurs to me is if we ever did create a utopia on earth, it couldn’t last long because we would grow bored with it. I think there is something in our psyche which demands occasional discomfort and a need to make it end. When comfortable, too long, we have no control and ultimately must grow restless. Time to go to the South Pole, then.

    I think it’s change we have most need of. It’s likley related to our creative process. It’s only a shame when it has to grow ugly at times. Artists aren’t always leaders. I think the film ‘Cabaret,’ depicted, well, what can occur when they decide to go along rather than show the way.

    One frustrating thing about the fickleness of change, it makes any long-termed solutions to problems difficult because before we get there, we’ll almost certainly change our mind. I mean, it’s not a good act if you’re still doing what you did twenty years ago. The crowds won’t keep coming back for that.

    The best change you can make in life is to alter things for the better for maybe ten years. If really exceptional, perhaps twenty. But, then, a new show has got to be premiered. Nothing remains the same.

    I know there are philosophies that have endured. But interpretation usually alters even them. For example, we still have Christianity. But who on earth is actually living that philosophy? I think Dostoevski, in his novel, ‘The Idiot,’ best demonstrated how it would be taken if anyone attempted to live as Christ expoused. He’d be seen as an idiot. So you can have an old philosophy and make use of a few nonsensical words, such as, “I’ve given my life to Jesus.” Just don’t ask anyone what that means, because beyond joining a club, and being told that makes you special, it really doesn’t mean much else, for most.

    Nevertheless, I’m considering numerous exceptions that would somewhat disprove my thesis that all life is fickle. Best just to say, much of life is so, especially, outside of science, in the world of opinion. And let’s face it. That’s where our artists most often reside, too.

    Let’s just hope for a good show, something new, you know?

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