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November 11, 1923 - Image 1

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SUNDAY MAGAZINE
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1923
MASTERS AND MEN
A Useless Discussion
? 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 ourselves, a student here is the finger of God, a flash of we might a omit Dante's Inferno, the tshat will never be classed as either
feels himself assailed by a scintilat- the Will than can." The ninth sym- poetry of William Elake. universal or abstract. In fact, all of
ing, turgid shower of generalities. pshony of Beethoven, or Chopin's D Certainly one could not go far with modern art deals withsthe particualr
Unless he ponders and connects each flat Etude is then the utmost achieve-
one with profound acumen, they Bath ?et fth umn mgiaio. e- texauing the candidates forim- which may be the symbol of a general
onewit prtoud asssenthe g lent ot the human inagination. Per- 1sortaity wten whole schools andI concept,
er and swell into a kind of cultural haps chance has ruled that other
chaos in which even a Mathew Arnold critics y subtler eans hve reached oemcnts are nesey of What, fo If one contemplates the work of
would flounder virtualy the se decisionl s e of the Rodin which is fitensel symbolic he
-r t sts? They write not of teuniversal,, will recognize that the statue may be
I have chosen to examine one of Architecture would follow music in nor the typtial, nor the average, but sparated from the abstraction which
these massy generalities, because it lthat the effect if not the forso is high- the abnormal. Baudelaire, disillu- it rpre.cts, leaving as much beauty
is so frequently ast shout, and too,(ly intangile. sioned, alone, writes charmingly of as hefore It is the initial symhol it-
because it represents a totschstone of Throughout the domain of letters Paris and cats in his "Fleurs du Mal". self that is beautiful.
modern~art criticism:we must play Theseus to many tra- Verlaine-what of Sagess? Is there
"Art expresses the universal". ditional Minotaurs (hypothetically, of not an irresistible beauty in langor-
The sentence probably emanates course). Whang! Dante topples: ous lines such as we find here: Or, let us stppose that "Art ex-
from opposition to the theories "Thou hast dealt too erratically with -Le ciel est pardessous len toits siswreoses the Universal" implies that a
of Benedetto Croce whose Aesthe- thy Beatrice; all men love not as bleu, si calme......Verlaine's unfor- ork of art or the total vwork of an
tique now dominates the sphere thee." Pyffff! Homer's ashes settle tunate friend Rimbaud belonged to world' that is aself-sufficient 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 Matarme whose poem L'Apres son, Clyve Bell has said that 'art is
thought in the nineties. In what men." I fear that we must even elim-Mi d'un Faune inspired Debussy's significant form', that thse artist
sense may this assertion be consider- inate from our classification the bible exquisite production of the same title. nae rtaelemets of truh
ed true? First let us examine the until more missionary work has been In France too we find a Huysmana wthrthem ebhs an ideal
possihle implications, (one, until at least seventy-five 1cr- whose exotic, hypochondrical Au Re- cosmos of his own. Goethe and
One might logically suppose that cent of the world's inhabitants have btours 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 sall 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- Iermes of Praxiteles, Beethoven's
realm of creative art for those forms for "blivion? The Shakespearean inist movement. One can dispose of compositions-ase 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, or 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 renain-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 Gengun- 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 he only to a season, but even to the im-
abstract mediums and forms, or at express the unadulterated abstraction 'Aain-Goers', or the French 'Reven- Ipression 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. Ibsen's Gengungere is the
these forms can be considered. Con- offered a reasonable substitute in the 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 Faery ism which designates most of ,the curtain. Racine constructed Bere-
ponderable. We feel that music is Queen, Le Mort d'Arthur, Roman de la work of the Slavs-Pushkin, Dostoev- nice from a single sentence: "Invit-
nots art in otedience 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 inspired. It works over and against
sytems cannost be ssc sslly cran-
syeSeneca claimed great wit and mad- they may develope mental weeds." It what works by rule or definition. It
med. Thrust on that man the modern
system and watch the pretty #ttle ness to be near allied. Then, to jump is Oliver Wendell Holmes, however, is the culmination of all creative abil-
shell go flying into its. Put that over to modern times, we read Dr. who says the beautiful thing of genius.
no rule, no custom, exists. Drawing
same man in the many called prison Johnson and are refreshed; Hollan- To him it is a superintelligence which from every fount without bias or pre-
of modern convention and watch the der's preface to Dr. Nisbet's book, In- Goms to those minds tuned and wait- jsdice, genius conceives lastinctively.
prison walls begin to crumble. In sanity and Genius, and are wounded' ig,-a beautiful essence which enters True genius is an elevation to a sends-
defiance of reverance, custom, or cant, or pessimistic. There we are told, the consciousness, assumes complete bility where no matter is trivial, where
he will fly and eve: attain his bril- "Genius is to be robbed of much I control, and proceeds unided by coo- all mpressios intermsix and evoixe
liant goal,- creation, ever creation. not all of its mystery." We find that scios effort to flood the soul with themselves into crystal-clear concepts.
Now Genius, because of this flying genius and insanity "are but differ- glowing thoughts. 'Pretty but mean- It is a haorn y of thought where
in the face of accepted things in life, ent phases of a morbid susceptibility ingless. Bosh! Idle talk' We can ideas come, unhampered, uninhibited.
has incurred an abominable curse at or a want of balance." There you almost hear Dr. Nesbit speaking in a cTre genius is never biased. Bias is
the hand of mankind. Entirely in- have it, genius is on the dissection ta- dcris, professional manner. "Excessive a blight to any greatness. The sensi-
nocent and laboring to exhaustion, ible and Dr. Nisbet is carving it at stimulation, the depression of excita- bilities of the genius must be open
even to destructio for progress and for the delectation of curious human- bility of certain regions of the btrain 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- iss." 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 front 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 splondor
the higher things of the intellect see in his General Types of Suerior 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 worssip for the genius. There, at last, we find own part into this mystery. Through- bigot which can never see beyond

is almost unknown,-ever since that one Nvho understands this high pow- out all explanation, in all definition, the moment. A genius is a very slave
time, the supersensibility called gen-' ered and finely tuned mechanism-if from all generally accepted concepts to those visions that come like a
ins 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 lie would tail 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 never allows erratic, un- called intuition. Genius is spontan- to the world some of those visions.
attempt at distinction between the wholesome, dissociated thoughts to re- eous 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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