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November 11, 1923 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1923-11-11

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A Useless Disuxssion
I- DONALD E. L SNYDER gether with most modern American
At an institution similar -to the one literature offers a counter tendency
in which We find oursel es,>a student here is the finger of God, a flash of we might admit Dante's Inferno, the that will never be classed as either
feels himself assailed by a scitilat- the Will than can." The ninth sym- poetry of William Blake. universal or abstract. In fact, all of
ing, turgid shower of generalities. phony of Beethoven or Chopin's Di
Unles h ponersand onncts achCertainly one could not go far with- modern art deals with the particualr
.Unless he ponders and connects each fist Etude is then the utmost achieve-
out exhausting the candidates for in-'whichmay be the symbol of a general
one with profound acumen, they gath met of the human imagination. Per- mortality when whole schools and concept
er and swell into a kind of cultural haps chance has ruled that other
chaos in which even a Mathew Arnold critics by subtler means have reached movements are neglected. What, for If one contemplates the work of
would flounder, virtually the same decision, example, shall we say of the decad- Rodin which is intensely symbolic he
ents? They write not of the universal, will recognize that the statue may be
I have chosen to examine one of Architecture would follow music in nor the typcial, nor the average, but s
tee asygnrltebus't Isparated fronns the abstraction which
s at, asi that the effect if not the form is high- the abnormal. Baudelaire, disillu- it represents, leaving as much beauty
is so frequently cast about,iandetoo, l -ntangible sion'd, repnensitasinhasmunglyaut
y. sinned, alne, writes charmingly of as before. It is the initial symbol it-
because it represents a touchstone of Throughout the domain of letters Paris and cats in his "Flers du Mal". teif that is beautiful.
modern art criticism we must play Theseus to many tra- Verlaine-what of Sagesse? Is thereII
"Art expresses the universal". ditional Minotaurs (hypothetically, of not an irresistible beauty in langor-
The sentence psobably emanates course). Whang! Dante topples: os lines such as we find here: Or, let us suppose that "Art ex-
from opposition to the theories "Thou hast dealt too erratically with -Le ciel est pardessous lea tois si presses the Universal" implies that a
from work of art or the total work of an
of Benedetto Croce whose Aesthe- thy Beatrice; all men love not as bleu, si came......Verlaine's unfor- artist supplies one with a closed
tique now dominates the sphere thee." Pyffff! Homer's ashes settle tunate friend Rimbaud belonged to world thaties asef-suficint micro-'
of art as tyranically as did Or- on the blue Aegean "Thy mighty this movement of symbolists and Ste-
igin of the Species prevail over heroes were too invincible to be as all phen Malarme whose poem LApres osam. Clyve Bell has said that 'art is
thought in the nineties. In what men." I fear that we must even elim- Midi d'un Faune inspired Debussy's significant form', that the artist
seanse may this assertion be consider- mpate from our classification the bible exquisite production of the same title. wrenches tr certainelents of cha-
ed true? First :let uis examine theI until more missionary work has been otic natur rte certanocrt elements o of truth
eirlct s eeuntil aeass y -iee In France too we find a Huysman and with them establishes an ideal
possible implcations, done, until at leaSt seventy-five per- whose exotic, hypochondrical Au Re- cosmos of his own. Goethe and
One might logically suppose that cent of the world's inhabitants have bours influenced Oscar Wilde's Dorian Shakespeare include all of human na-
the meaning involves the idea of the been converted to Christianity Gray. In Russia, Artsybashev, whose ture. Likewise the greatest works
abstract universal. If this hypothe- Whom and what shall we choose Sanine, though lacking in moral re- of art-Notre Dame de Paris, the
sis be formulated we must seek in the from literature? What shall we leave straint, is a landmark in the Femin - Hermes of Praxiteles, Beethoven's
realm of creative art for those forms for oblivion? The Shakespearean inist movement. One can dispose of compositions-are all-inclusive. But
only which treat the most elemental sonnets, I believe, and Walt Whit-, these works on the ground that they we cannot demand this of very work
in human nature-anger, hate, hope, man's transcendental poems square can not be classed as art, but then the of art. It would be fatuous to ask
and above all--love, not only because most evenly to our definition. Tol- formula itself is at fault in being too Chekov, .4 Poe, or Kipling, or De
of the redundance of material, but be- stoi left some saving thoughts. Goethe exclusive. Ibsen, indeed, though not Maupassant to paint the whole of life
cause wherever man has felt the de- will stand among the first. Nietzsche a decadent, treated the pathological, within the limits of a conte. Nor can
sire to express the beautiful, in Egypt, may remain-all philosophers had the unusual. One cannot exclude we more equitably require an artist to
in Alaska, or in Czecho-Slavakia, he they been artists as well. The Neo- from any artistic catalogue Gengn- represent in a landscape a compOsite
has symbolized Love in his art. Ac- Classicists Corneille and Racine, will gere (translated rather loosely by season. Monet confined his field not
cording to our formula only the most appear upon the scroll-not that they: 'Ghosts', more accurate would be only to a season, but even to the inm-
abstract mediums and forms, or at express the unadulterated abstraction 'Again-Goers', or the French 'Rven- pression of a lily pond at a certain
least the most detached treatment of of all humanity, but ,that they have ants') or Hedda Gabler. moment. Ibsaen's Gengungere is the
these forms can be considered. Con- offered a reasonable substitute in the j Allegory, I said, was best explained tragedy of a single moment which
sequently music 'would be the purest typical being. Particularly fit are al- by the "abstract universal". Real- comes just a second before the final
if not the only true art, for it is least legorical works; Spencer's Feryi ism which designates most of the curtain. Racine conetrected here-
ponderable. We feel that music is Queen, Le Mort dArthur, Roman de la work of the Slavs-Pushkin, Dostoev- nice from a single sentence: "Invit-
"not art in obedience to laws, but Rose, the Lay of Igor; by this gate sky, Chekov, Gorki, and Kuprin, to- Continued on Page Seven)
The Insanity of Genius
There is one man over whose head GEORGE H. HOLMES, JR. It is inexplicable, unanalyzed. It is
the straight-jacket of an educational..
system a siyrspied. It works over and againest
sytmcannot be successfully cram-"I
med. Thrust on that tan the modern Seneca clained great wit and mad- they may develope mental weeds." It what wltks b rule or deafition. it
system and watch the pretty little ness to be near allied. Then, to jump is Oliver Wendell Holmes, however, is the culmination of all creative abil-
shell go flying into bits. Put that over to modern times, we read Dr. who says the beautiful thing of genius. ity. Where it resides no government,
samemanin te mn waledno rule no custon, exists. Drawing
same man in the many walled prison Johnson and are refreshed; Hollan- To him it is a superintelligence which f ever, fountout is ora-
of modern convention and watch the der's preface to Dr. Nisbet's book, In-, #0 so those minds tuned and wait-
orsnwls ei ocjml.I udice, genius conceives instinctively.
prison walls begin to crumble. In sanity and Genius, and are wounded lug,-a beautiful'essence which enters ! rue-genius is an elevation to a sensi-
defiance of reverance, custom, or cant,, or pessimistic. There we are told, the consciousness, assumes complete ts ' a sere
he will fly and ever attain his bril- "Genius is to be robbed of much i control, and proceeds unaided by con-al bility wherenssions atermix and evolve
liant goal,-creation, ever creation. not all of its mystery." We find thatI scious effort to flood the soul with themselves into crystal-cleat condepts.
Now Genius, because of this flying genius and insanity "are but differ- glowing thoughts. 'Pretty but mean- It is a harmony of thought where
n the face of accepted things in life, ant phases of a morbid susceptibility igless. Bosh! Idle talk!' We can ideas come, unhanmpered, uninhibited.
has incurred an abominable curse at or a want of balance." There you almost hear Dr. Nesbit speaking in a True genius is never biased. Bias is
the hand of mankind. Entirely in- have it, genius is on the dissection ta- trips, professional manner. "Excessive a blight to any greatness. The sensi-
nocent and laboring to exhaustion, ble and Dr. Nisbet is carving it out stimulation, the depression of excita- bilities of the genius must be open
even to destruction for progress and for the delectation of curious human-' bility of certain regions of the brain and receptive. Prejudice is a jangle
humanity, Genius has been rewarded ity. We read Meyers and imagine is the cause of both insanity and gen- which disrupts the smooth, easy flow
at the dictation of that humanity a that we ourselves are on the thresh- is." There you have it. The sub- of thoughts peculiar to genius. No-
most unkind verdict-insanity. Ever old of those wondrous "powers." Then lime-and beautiful, pulled down from thing better defines genius than im-
since man -first began to quicken to we turn a few pages in Schwarz and their foolish heights. Look! How silly partiality. In its greatest splendor
the higher things of -the intellect see in his General Types of Superior they are! genius is the absolute subjugation of
where the ugliness of convention is Men a genuine sympathy and feeling Now let us venture timidly on our self. The conscious self is a petty
not seen and the drab of idea worship for the genius. There, at last, we find own part into this mystery. Through- bigot which can never see beyond
ma smot u~non-eer inc tat on wh unersand ths ighpow so al exlantin, n al dfintio, te mmet. geiusis vey sav

is almost unknown,-ever since that I one who understands this 'high pow- out all explanation, in all definition, the moment. A genius is a very siave
time, the supersensibility called gen- ered and finely tuned mechanism-if from all generally accepted concepts to those visions that come like a
ius has been associated with insanity. it be a mechanism. It is Schwarz who of genius there is one dominant idea- sunrise. In their light he would eag-
For over two thousand years literature ;can say "the man of genius draws the ability to create. All other capa- erly record the beauties made visible.
on this socalled relationship has from all sources, unhampered by pre- bility is in the nature of talent. Genius He would toil on, far beyond the pow-
amassed in libraries. Aristotle notic- judice or cant." Schwarz can say that is governed by that strange something ers of ordinary men in effort to give
ed the apparent relation. Plato made "true genius ever allows erratic, un- called intuition. Genius is spqntan- to the world some of those visions.
stteaspt at distinction betwoen the wholesome, 'dissociated thoughts to re- eons conception. It is not mere dis- Possession of those creations he would
ordinary and the spiritual insanity. main in a non-incorporated state, for cipline or talent in a given direction. (Continued on Page Two)

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