Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nice wallpaper

All art is quite useless.-- Oscar Wilde

From article entitled, "Why Art?" by Julian Bell, in the New York Review of Books, Oct. 8, 2009:

"... Fiction entails holding in suspense the actuality and the use value of objects, so that we start to appreciate their potential beauty. All the while, as [Denis] Dutton enjoys announcing--though the idea dates from Darwin, he dramatically claims to rediscover it--two factors are at work. While natural selection favors the preservation of individuals with an eye for nutritious green valleys and a talent for lying, it is individuals who flaunt their fitness to potential mates by outstanding eloquence or by making things well who get a best chance to breed and who thus pass the test of sexual selection. The resulting sexually selected, fictively inclined mind will be able to 'use its hands and tools to carve an animal; for it, a cave wall can be the perfect place to paint a whole menagerie.' And that, in outline, is how Dutton would take us from ape behavior patterns to the beginnings of the human artistic record, circa 30,0000 BCE..."
And to elegant courtship rituals in Hudson today. If art inspires a desire (on the part of the artist, who remains concealed) to float Winifred a few delicious glasses of wine* at (p.m.) on a Saturday night she's all for it.

So, as Wallace Stevens writes, say that final belief must be in a fiction.

All righty then. Bring back Diamond Street.


*There is no such thing as moral or immoral wine. Wine is delicious, or it is bad. That is all.

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