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Thursday, July 14, 2005

[Glad to hear Sasha's crunching the stats. The following is unrelated to that, but it does fall under "pith and marrow":]

I think that I'd better just own up to the following two precepts, which I would have to say guide both my critical practice and my plain old experience or music, poetry, and so on, and which are near-axiomatic for me:

1) A great deal of worthwhile ("good," "great," I don't much care what the evaluative term here is) art, high, mass, or whatever, has been created in support of, with inspiration from, and or by believers in all manner of false and non-explanatory theories of: art, language, the mind, the body, the emotions, the interactions between any and all of these, supernatural agents and entities, [extend list indef.]

Corollary: Since worthwhile art has been produced in the name of irreconcilable positions, (1) holds no matter which (if any) theories of any or all of the above, currently fashionable or rejected but coming up on the inside, happen to be true.

2) Your favorite musician does not, in fact, possess magical powers.

(I could have named some other kinds of artists -- painters might have been good mid-last-century -- but I'm pretty sure musician is the category this needs to be said about right now.)

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