Friday, March 03, 2006

Again, Someone Yells Louder than Me

Below is an excerpt of the article "On Campus: The Abolition of Art" I came across on the internet today, written by Nathanael Blake for I presume he is a conservative political columnist. The excerpt I quote below has a startling resemblance in my opinion to something formulated independently by another intelligent thinker* who was gracious enough to post his theory** on this blog. The topic of the article - given by its title - is about the rotting degradation of art by modernist movements:
"H. R. Rookmaaker, Chair of Art History at the Free University of Amsterdam, wrote a masterful book on the subject, Modern Art and the Death of a Culture. Modern art did not spring upon us from a void, but came from a philosophical progression spanning centuries. During medieval times, art was primarily created to represent the transcendental. It was religious and devotional in nature, with each painting a visual sermon. Such art sought to represent universal truths about God and man; it was not always realistic in its physical representations, but it sought to present spiritual truth. ... [The] rise of Humanism also inspired a rise in what could be called the portrayal of the ideal. These scenes were not necessarily religious or Christian, but they still sought to portray universals, from heroism to love."
Nathaneal Blake remembers Rand's insight of the philosophical importance of Art in man's life:
"Like many conservatives, I dislike Ayn Rand, but she deserves credit for her insight on this point. In The Fountainhead, the gloating villain explains that to destroy theater, you declare puerile prattle to be a masterpiece; to destroy architecture, you elevate an incompetent to prominence. And, I would add, to abolish art, you declare a manufactured urinal to be a masterpiece. A vital part of our cultural heritage has been raped, and most of us are unaware and unconcerned."
Rand understood that Art served to concretize one's widest abstractions, one's conscious and subconscious sense of life, one's own metaphysical value judgments. She herself concretized those elements of her values, her benevolent and efficacious view of the universe and of man's place in it, her proud and joyous sense of life, and her groundbraking philosophy of Objectivism in her amazing works of literary Art, which are now classics in every sense of the word. In the Romantic Manifesto, Rand gives a very lucid and extensive exposition of the central role of Art in a man's philosophy, and the reciprocal centrality that philosophy plays in the artistic expressions of man.


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