political art (was ; - )Neanderthal Miracles)

Lyle Burkhead (LYBRHED@delphi.com)
Sat, 02 Nov 1996 17:45:19 -0500 (EST)

QueeneMUSE writes,


Right. You want to have the last word. Typical female tactic.
You're not going to get away with it.

In reply to my statement,

:: Leslie didn't have a great mind, but in her limited way
:: she was a real artist, not a "political" artist.

The Queene says:

> That is BAITING of the first order, Lyle, there is
> no such thing as being either one and you know it.

T.S. Eliot said this about Henry James:

> He had a mind so fine that no idea could violate it.

I read this remark as a student and was mystified by it. What on earth
did Eliot mean? Now I think I understand.

Some artists start with an ism, and try to have the right thoughts
as defined by their ism. They have the right thoughts about sex,
about race, about various other things. And then they draw pictures,
write stories, etc with the intention of making their audience also
have the right thoughts. This is political art.

Other artists see isms as constraints to be escaped from. A real artist
has no sacred cows or isms or ideas. A real artist cuts through all kinds
of political cant and is willing to entertain thoughts that no one else
would dare to think. A real artist just produces art, and lets the political
chips fall where they may.

I'm not saying this distinction is always easy to make, nor that real
artists are always better than political artists. Some political artists
produce very good work, and most "real" artists are not in the same
league with Henry James. But there is a distinction between the two
kinds of art.

> But Lyle you said your miracle didn't involve any mystic
> event! What about the resurection she had to have to be
> your slave? Has there been some new South African breakthrough
> involving dead beauties?

She was my slave off and on for a couple of years, in 1990-91.
She died in 1995. You're just jealous because you want me to
put YOU on the rack.