Ellen Stuttle

Michelle Marder Kamhi's "Who Says That's Art?"

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BTW, I once heard a recording of one of Objectivism's art guru-wannabes mentioning Modigliani, and commenting positively!

Unfortunately, the name was mispronounced as "mo • DIG • lee • AH •nee." Hard "G." Heh.

J

Kind of makes you wonder if Modigliani ever dated that girl artist, Joan Miró? Or if Wayne Thiebaud is Tim Tebow's dad?

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I don't see any special artistic skill.

I love his style. I find it very beautiful and expressive.

I could acquire the technical ability to copy that painting in a few months.

Try it. In fact, take half a year. Let's see what you've got, talent-wise.

I'm not envious at all for the price it sold for. I'm only curious who's the idiot who bought it (if not why) and who are the idiots(?) who promoted it if not the artist too.

The artist is dead. Very dead.

I'm not rushing to see what else he's done.

Your loss.

J

To each his own. However, I'll now check out some of his other stuff. I claim no talent. If I wanted to paint I'd learn to do what he did with the skin tones. Remember, I said "copy." I didn't say "create." Nor did I say this fellow wasn't an artist. I have no esthetic doctrines. Only personal tastes.

I knew the artist was dead so re-read what I wrote. Sorry for the confusion. My fault.

--Brant

edit: looking at some of his other work I found a lot more skill, but I'm still not enthused, but maybe up close and personal--?

Edited by Brant Gaede

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I don't see any special artistic skill.

I love his style. I find it very beautiful and expressive.

I could acquire the technical ability to copy that painting in a few months.

Try it. In fact, take half a year. Let's see what you've got, talent-wise.

I'm not envious at all for the price it sold for. I'm only curious who's the idiot who bought it (if not why) and who are the idiots(?) who promoted it if not the artist too.

The artist is dead. Very dead.

I'm not rushing to see what else he's done.

Your loss.

J

To each his own. However, I'll now check out some of his other stuff. I claim no talent. If I wanted to paint I'd learn to do what he did with the skin tones. Remember, I said "copy." I didn't say "create." Nor did I say this fellow wasn't an artist. I have no esthetic doctrines. Only personal tastes.

--Brant

I know. You're not a dick.

J

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10AUCTION1-master675.jpg

In an overheated art market where anything seems possible, a painting of an outstretched nude woman by the early 20th-century artist Amedeo Modigliani sold on Monday night for $170.4 million with fees, in a packed sales room at Christies. It was the second highest price paid for an artwork at auction.

I think this would go for more:

Tiziano_-_Venere_di_Urbino_-_Google_Art_

Notice the cute little puppy napping? That's what makes the difference.

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What happens if they succeed in getting me? Will they turn me into one of them?!!!

Nope. For you, Room 101.

1984_rats.jpg

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So, in order to pull that off, whoever the little fella is who is playing the character of "WolfAlan" would have to have been wearing a fat suit and silicon appliances to be a convincing "Phil."

Not if one, the other, or both are cyborgs. Under the control of the ET Puppet Master. The same one who had that moron on OO claim the 50% of Stravinsky's music is evil.

This goes way deeper than you seem willing to acknowledge. They're like Pod people.

And they're coming to get you.

I think you're both nuts. I'm a public person FFS, no mystery about it.

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So, in order to pull that off, whoever the little fella is who is playing the character of "WolfAlan" would have to have been wearing a fat suit and silicon appliances to be a convincing "Phil."

Not if one, the other, or both are cyborgs. Under the control of the ET Puppet Master. The same one who had that moron on OO claim the 50% of Stravinsky's music is evil.

This goes way deeper than you seem willing to acknowledge. They're like Pod people.

And they're coming to get you.

I think you're both nuts. I'm a public person FFS, no mystery about it.

Exactly what cyborgs are programmed to say when they're found out.

Are you going to get around to your critique of David Foster Wallace's work? And defending your claim about needing to produce "art or music or narrative fiction" before doing philosophical aesthetics? When you're challenged you just go silent. We're all ready to be convinced. Ask ET for an upgrade, tell him you want all the modules Phil has. You're already set with the latest and best Bloviation and Stubborness chipsets, but your Schoolmarm module needs at least a firmware upgrade, though total replacement would probably work better.

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So, in order to pull that off, whoever the little fella is who is playing the character of "WolfAlan" would have to have been wearing a fat suit and silicon appliances to be a convincing "Phil."

Not if one, the other, or both are cyborgs. Under the control of the ET Puppet Master. The same one who had that moron on OO claim the 50% of Stravinsky's music is evil.

This goes way deeper than you seem willing to acknowledge. They're like Pod people.

And they're coming to get you.

I think you're both nuts. I'm a public person FFS, no mystery about it.

Exactly what cyborgs are programmed to say when they're found out.

Are you going to get around to your critique of David Foster Wallace's work? And defending your claim about needing to produce "art or music or narrative fiction" before doing philosophical aesthetics? When you're challenged you just go silent. We're all ready to be convinced. Ask ET for an upgrade, tell him you want all the modules Phil has. You're already set with the latest and best Bloviation and Stubborness chipsets, but your Schoolmarm module needs at least a firmware upgrade, though total replacement would probably work better.

I have no idea what ET might be and don't care. I'm sorry you like Wallace and Eco. Not everyone wants to play mind games. On the subject of philosophical aesthetics, my point was Kant's cloistered innocence, for lack of a better term. Hence his childlike adoration of spires and lightning storms. I still believe that language has moved past a fixed meaning of sublime, and you ought to pay attention to modern terms like subliminal and sublimate, which I mooted previously.

Let's agree that I'm a clod. I have a very simple view of the artistic enterprise.

It's highly debatable that I understand anything at all, since story outlines are useless to me. I pen them in good faith. But however daring and clever, an outline only controls one character, usually less than a week or two — which is enough to belt out the first chapter. From there, the story takes off on its own, surprising me with situations and personalities over which I have no direct control. The temple has its own agenda, it's own mad logic of dramatic necessity. All I do is show up to write about it.

Therefore, a temple. Sometimes it's frightening and lonely and empty. I feel like shit and walk away. The story follows me to the kitchen, to the driveway, to a sunset or the night sky. I whistle for the dogs and pretend that I'm a normal person — that, no matter what, I'm just as fit as the next fellow to have a private life, I can eat a meal or chat with houseguests.

Writers tell themselves lies like that, to avoid the truth of the temple. Quality doesn't matter much, nor hope.

The essence of the issue is a blank page and the willingness to go naked in public. As far as I know, Victor Hugo already beat me hands down. What remains is a precious window of courage, to let it happen and let it be.

[COGIGG, pp.13-14]

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I have no idea what ET might be and don't care.

Ellsworth Toohey. Also Extra-terrestrial.

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What happens if they succeed in getting me? Will they turn me into one of them?!!!

Nope. For you, Room 101.1984_rats.jpg

But I've been very careful to not reveal my greatest fear! So what will WolfAlanPhil put in my face-mounted rat cage?

J

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I have no idea what ET might be and don't care. I'm sorry you like Wallace and Eco. Not everyone wants to play mind games. On the subject of philosophical aesthetics, my point was Kant's cloistered innocence, for lack of a better term. Hence his childlike adoration of spires and lightning storms.

What do you think was the cause of all previous philosophers' interest in the Sublime? What was the cause of Rand's (while not knowing of the philosophical concept and its history)?

I still believe that language has moved past a fixed meaning of sublime...

Based on what? Your feelings?

...and you ought to pay attention to modern terms like subliminal and sublimate, which I mooted previously.

Why would we have to pay attention to those terms? You didn't know (and still don't fully grasp) what the philosophical term means, so instead of reading about it, you guessed that it might be about similar-sounding words that you do know, and that ignorant guess of yours must be brilliant, so therefore we should treat it as being worthy of consideration?

Let's agree that I'm a clod.

Okay. That's what I've been doing already.

It's highly debatable that I understand anything at all, since story outlines are useless to me. I pen them in good faith. But however daring and clever, an outline only controls one character, usually less than a week or two which is enough to belt out the first chapter. From there, the story takes off on its own, surprising me with situations and personalities over which I have no direct control. The temple has its own agenda, it's own mad logic of dramatic necessity. All I do is show up to write about it.

Therefore, a temple. Sometimes it's frightening and lonely and empty. I feel like shit and walk away. The story follows me to the kitchen, to the driveway, to a sunset or the night sky. I whistle for the dogs and pretend that I'm a normal person that, no matter what, I'm just as fit as the next fellow to have a private life, I can eat a meal or chat with houseguests.

Writers tell themselves lies like that, to avoid the truth of the temple. Quality doesn't matter much, nor hope.

The essence of the issue is a blank page and the willingness to go naked in public. As far as I know, Victor Hugo already beat me hands down. What remains is a precious window of courage, to let it happen and let it be.

[COGIGG, pp.13-14]

You've actually written more about yourself being a writer than you've written stories, haven't you? Heh. Most of your life was spent writing practice self-interviews, like the above, so that you'd be ready when the day came in reality, no?

"It's been my pleasure. Thank you for having me, Lynn."

Or maybe, "My pleasure, thank you, Lynn."

Just, "My pleasure, Lynn"?

Perhaps, "It's always an honor to be your guest on NPR"?

No. Keep it simple and humble. "Thank you, Lynn."

Now, what should I wear?

J

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To sublimate (the experience of) the Sublime?

Sounds like chickening out. Why refine such a thing?

So, Wolf, what were you thinking about, bringing in that word?

--Brant

Jonathan: you're like the law grinding finely except--at least trying, for sometimes the result is coarse--you don't grind slowly but justice is not in the law without jury nullification--it's only coincidental--I Am the Jury!

Heh

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But I've been very careful to not reveal my greatest fear!

Yeah? You and Pigero reenacting the squeal like a pig scene, with you in the Ned Beatty role, and with a Mario Lanza soundtrack. Backdrops painted by Sylvia Bokor. Behind the Candelabra meets Deliverance. An artistic travesty. Directed by Wolf, who instead of calling out "Action" and "Cut" shouts "Kneel before Zod".

And so far Phil, plus Nicky (among select OO lowlifes) are just milling around muttering Rhubarb Rhubarb. You can't even guess what parts they will have to play. And no matter, you'll be begging Do it to Julia well before the second verse of Be My Love.

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Let's agree that I'm a clod.

Point conceded.

You get nothing from me

Just did.

Evidently you don't know this, so read carefully: when two people are discussing something (e.g. an author) that you know nothing about, and you interrupt/interject expressing not only disapproval of the topic, but impugn their sanity, you demonstrate yourself to be both a knucklehead and an asshole. What follows is that people begin to treat you as both a knucklehead and an asshole.

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What follows is that people begin to treat you as both a knucklehead and an asshole.

Not at all. You fancy yourself as a higher being, ennobled by buffoonery and insults.

Let's see something you've written.

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What follows is that people begin to treat you as both a knucklehead and an asshole.

Not at all. You fancy yourself as a higher being, ennobled by buffoonery and insults.

Let's see something you've written.

You didn't read carefully enough. If at all. Try to follow the argument, and, if you can, reply to it.

This is like teaching Baldrick to count.

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BTW, Tony makes the joke work, not Rowan. As it happens I know both of them.

Yeah I've heard, he says interacting with you is worse than any of the Worst Jobs in History that he's surveyed. But the one you remind him of most is here, starting six minutes in:

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I'll make a little effort at outreach and then go back to work.

Not that long ago, Newberry was on this thread, claiming to know something and flouncing like a star ballerina at a cocktail party. Personally I detest his work, don't see anything remotely Objectivist about it. His light is deliberately contrived and some of his figures are deranged, rather than rational or inspirational. I pity the saps who have a Newberry in their living room.

My wife likes Douglas Adams, Umberto Eco, and Joseph Heller. Plenty of all three on our library shelves. I don't love her any less for it, but just shake my head after a few pages. It's no different than Newberry, deliberately deranged. The appeal is cynical and demented. Not funny or inspiring or something I would inflict on schoolchildren. I feel the same way about Ernest Hemingway, J.D. Salinger, and all the rest of the crap that New York pushed at us as significant modern literature, before they went off the deep end with p.c. Toni Morrison and shithead Bret Easton Ellis.

The goal of my work is realistic rationality. I don't think it's great literature. That's not important. I can re-read RLS with pleasure and admiration. I know every word that Ray Chandler wrote. And that brings me to the question of Ayn Rand. No other author reached me so deeply and personally. The Fountainhead was not great literature, but every word is convincingly realistic and rational. That's what I aim for when I sit at the keyboard -- a plausible universe where verisimilitude matters. I don't recommend that anyone buy or read my fiction. What matters most is the business of original storytelling that rings true, set far in the future.

Now that I'm older and less sparky, it comes slowly, a few pages each morning.

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The Fountainhead is quintessentially great literature, but you have to understand what you are looking at. I'm only voicing my opinion in contradistinction to your opinion. To come to a site like this and say what you said, Wolf, and not give one word of explanation means your opinion is worse than worthless here to anyone other than yourself. If you had justified your opinion we could have an interesting discussion. Since I'm being reactive I don't have any obligation to explain my opinion. Neither do you for a different reason, but you're in no place to object to objections.(You started with an overall negative then gave contradictory positive particulars. That only put you up while putting Rand down while giving her credit. Suppose you had merely not said it wasn't great literature but kept the rest of it? Different story. That's what the author deserves. Prior you did have a negative particular: the novel corrupted you with integrity. Fucked you up.)

The problem is the shifting sand under all and sundry understanding of what is and isn't "literature" and its hierarchies. Like my Dad liked to say, "Who put the 'liter' in literature?" It all comes down, once again, to the nature of esthetics. There is no objectifying esthetic authority in literature any more than in painting. You can--I can--say what we like or dislike and why but we cannot say what someone should do to climb the objective mountain of art. There is no such mountain. We can discuss character, plot, theme, etc. just as we can discuss the technical aspects of painting and that is the objectification through description of what is, not what should be created to be objectively "great."

Since most literature is swill for one reason or another are we also talking about "great swill"?

--Brant

Atlas Shrugged is "great literature" too--but I repeat myself

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