Actually I think I'm moving beyond Joyce's artistic ethic of "cunning, exile, and silence" or rather rejecting it.
Well, I never liked that part of Joyce's aesthetic. But I did like the idea of the artist paring his fingernails, having attained dramatic objectivity, so to speak. And also he speaks of the framing of an art object. Or rather he quotes Aquinas (if memory serves.)
I think the peak of Joyce is Night Town or whatever you want to call it. That chapter at the whorehouse in Ulysses. THat's like 8 1/2 or something. Still seems reekingly modern. Cinematic, etc. The last chapter is OK but the run-on sentence is hardly as impressive as the kaleidoscope in Night town. I digress.
---------- Post added 05-10-2010 at 11:37 PM ----------
I don't think the artist need be cunning, I don't think the artist need be an exile, I don't think the artist need be silent. Perhaps even the exact opposite can be the case - honest, integrated into society, and speaking.
I agree with you here. "The weak in courage is strong in cunning." Sometimes it's the fresh eye that prevails. I suppose this ties in with unlearning.
I can also relate to a turning back toward
society. The universal is the social. Of course the "universal" isn't easy to define. I know that I want to transcend the usual obsession with contingent personal details. Someone witty made a joke about all the writers who consider their autobiography the Great American Novel. I was once a big fan of Kerouac, and he's definitely good at what he does, but that's not my bag, let's say. And being a writer has always been an ambition of mine. It's just that I found myself writing philosophy or let's say abstractions rather than narrative. Or if I wrote narrative, it would be condensed plot, as condensed as myth. I feel that movies have done something to my notion of story telling, just as photography must have effected painting.
---------- Post added 05-10-2010 at 11:38 PM ----------
(Actually this post is an final articulation of a sort of breakthrough for me. Enough with those 20th century definitions of the artist. Philosophy Forum is good stuff.)
Yeah, I keep coming back because communicating with others is a sort of midwife, isn't it? I find it helps me think, forces me to clarify. This reminds me of McLuhan.