Thursday, March 26, 2009

A poem by our poet laureate Kay Ryan and a quote by Donald Barthelme got me thinking about abstract art today

But how dark
is darkest?
Does it get 
jet-or tar-
black; does it
glint and increase 
in hardness
or turn viscous?
Are there stages
of darkness
and chips
to match against
its increments,
holding them
up to our blindness,
estimating when
we'll have this
night behind us?

.....Saul Bellow argued that the modern novel was "predominantly realistic" because "realism is based on our common life". Bartheleme countered that a "mysterious shift....takes place as soon as one says that art is not about something but is something", when the literary text "becomes an object in the world rather than a commentary upon the world." This excerpted from The Story Artist by Colm Toibin, NYT Book Review March 22. 2009

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