Friday, March 18, 2011

The Price of Losing the Wager...


Thomas Morley (1557-1602/3), "Madrigal":
Though Philomela lost her love
fresh note she warbleth yes again
Fa la la la fa la la la...

He is a fool that lovers prove
and leaves to sing, to live in pain
Fa la la la fa la la ...

44 comments:

  1. The "artists" wager with himself vs. "the world".

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  2. You must both possibly "rape your new love" AND "eat your old offspring..."

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  3. The price is steep, so many never make the wager. They sit on their hands and dream. They will not cross the Rubicon and risk despoiling their love.

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  4. ...be it the work itself, or more likely, their dream of their competent ability to "execute" it.

    For to execute the works as they envision them requires a constant "refinement" of their artistic skills... skills often "undeveloped" in the dreamer who does not daily make the attempt, lose the wager, and persist in making the attempt.

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  5. ...for one is a "fool" UNTIL one succeeds. Thus is "wisdom" earned.

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  6. ...the "pain" of prolonged foolishness. Why risk it?

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  7. or more likely, their dream of their competent ability to "execute" it.
    ---------
    Exactly!
    But this is where the risk comes in. To break down the impossible goals into reasonable goals, and then take risks, daily. Take a chance on being humiliated (it's good you), being different, being boring, being beautiful. Take the chance of being noticed.

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  8. I suspect that if you can laugh at yourself, half the battle is already won.

    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T. S. Eliot

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  9. T.S. Eliot...I would've liked to have had coffee with him.
    :-)

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  10. For to execute the works as they envision them requires a constant "refinement" of their artistic skills... skills often "undeveloped" in the dreamer who does not daily make the attempt, lose the wager, and persist in making the attempt.
    ---------
    So you're saying that you must lose the wager to develop your skills as an artist?

    Of course! I count my failures as a success...simply because I'm doing what I love. :-)

    What I create is hardly ever what I envision, but I make the attempt again and again.

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  11. Did I mention to you that the graduate advisor of the art dept. who reviewed my portfolio gave me a thorough review of my photos, and how he interpreted each one?
    He skimmed over the ones that most folks admired the most, and he focused on two in particular: a polaroid (!) that was underexposed, and a picture of a chair in a bathroom (?).

    I mention this because what constitutes success and failure is usually a mystery to me to begin with. :-)

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  12. So you're saying that you must lose the wager to develop your skills as an artist?

    I'm saying that you must get used to losing the wager, and yet continue to make it despite the fact that your going to lose thousands of times more often than you'll win it.

    The point is, to get "better" and understand "why" you're getting better. Your constant recording of your camera settings, for example, is infinitely more important than the results you achieve with any one, two or group of photographs.

    Ultimately, it's only art/science up to a point, and then its' pure alchemy beyond that point and into "uncharted" territory.

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  13. Procne, Philomela and Tereaus are ALL metamorphosized in then end. Did Procne start out dreaming of becoming a swallow, Philomela a nightingale and Tereus a hoopoe? Perhaps not. Sometimes you end up in unanticipated situations. The point is, you continue to change.

    From T.S. Eliot's "Wasteland"

    Above the antique mantel was displayed
    As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene 98
    The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king 99
    So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale 100
    Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
    And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
    'Jug Jug' to dirty ears.
    And other withered stumps of time
    Were told upon the walls; staring forms
    Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.

    ----

    Twit twit twit
    Jug jug jug jug jug jug
    So rudely forc'd.
    Tereu

    ---

    Quando fiam uti chelidon - O swallow swallow


    from the analysis...

    The Latin phrase in the text means, "When shall I be as the swallow?" It comes from the Pervigilium Veneris (Vigil of Venus), an anonymous late Latin poem combining a hymn to Venus with a description of spring. In the last two stanzas of the Pervigilium occurs a recollection of the Tereus-Procne-Philomela myth (except that in this version the swallow is identified with Philomela); the anonymous poet's mood changes to one of sadness, combined with hope for renewal: "The maid of Tereus sings under the poplar shade, so that you would think musical trills of love came from her mouth and not a sister's complaint of a barbarous husband. . . . She sings, we are silent. When will my spring come? When shall I be as the swallow that I may cease to be silent? I have lost the Muse in silence, and Apollo regards me not." Cf. Swinburne's Itylus, which begins, "Swallow, my sister, O sister swallow,/ How can thine heart be full of spring?" and Tennyson's lyric in The Princess: "O Swallow, Swallow, flying, flying south."

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  14. I think that the jug jug reference likely comes from Wordsworth's, "The Nightingale" (1798).

    That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates
    With fast thick warble his delicious notes,
    As he were fearful, that an April night
    Would be too short for him to utter forth
    Hi? love-chant, and disburthen his full soul
    Of all its music! And I know a grove
    Of large extent, hard by a castle huge
    Which the great lord inhabits not: and so
    This grove is wild with tangling underwood,
    And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,
    Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths.
    But never elsewhere in one place I knew
    So many Nightingales: and far and near
    In wood and thicket over the wide grove
    They answer and provoke each other's songs--
    With skirmish and capricious passagings,
    And murmurs musical and swift jug jug
    And one low piping sound more sweet than all--
    Stirring the air with such an harmony,
    That should you close your eyes, you might almost
    Forget it was not day!

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  15. No, you never know what exactly you'll morph into, but the changing IS living, so you take the risk, and continue to change, and continue to risk, and continue to live. Yes to all this.
    :-)
    And hopefully something beautiful comes out of it.

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  16. ...and then its' pure alchemy beyond that point and into "uncharted" territory.

    ...nicely put.

    As to the wager, it's in losing it that you win it - and that's no cliche. :)

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  17. Indeed it's not. But it's hard to go into it seeking the pain...

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  18. ...like I said there is a certain recklessness, certain bravado, about the artist. But it may its "origins" in hubris.

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  19. Isn't everything just another name for "will to power"... ;)

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  20. The artist... testing and perfecting his ability to "move" himself, and then "others".

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  21. The rhapsode/actor... at "channeling" the artist so as to "move others"

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  22. Isn't everything just another name for "will to power"...

    Yes, it may be so. :)

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  23. To me, hubris connotes an "abuse"... but is the successful creation of a beautiful work of art an "abuse" of nature/ pride?

    Yes, Dali and other artists act haughtily enough in their moral relations with other humans, and yes, perhaps this is what you meant by hubris, but in the actual creation of their art... in picturing themselves "above" mere animals (and or "human commoners)(one of Nietzsche's four fundamental "human errors") and capable of great works, is this "hubris"? I wonder.

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  24. More likely a mixing of Amour d'soi w/ Amour propre... propre where the "abuse/hubris" enters.

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  25. Yoko Ono may have suffered from amour propre, but was John Lennon as equally guilty?

    And so Beethoven/Goethe...

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  26. No, creating a work of art is not hubris. Hubris is to go out looking for "divine" assistence...

    See, all I was trying to say was that it may not that, unlike others, some people consciously choose pain ... take the wager, so to say. No, it's "hubris" that leads them to it, a sense of being one of the chosen. But, having made the wager, they ultimately realize that there is no such thing as divine assistance. That they must soil their own hands. In that sense they lose the wager, and yet in losing it they win it.

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  27. Please excuse my lack of effort - and style. ;) I am slightly tired after the journey. Then I wrote as well. :)

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  28. As Nietzsche stated in WtP 858 (Nov. 1887-March 1888) - "What determines your rank is the quantum of power you are: the rest is cowardice."

    ...of course there is no "standard of measure" and so opinions will vary.

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  29. No wink there - and, no, no Freudian slip as well - or, so i hope. :)

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  30. Good point. But if they "win" their wager and then attribute it to Divine assistance... isn't that simply an under estimation of amour d'soi and over-estimation of amour propre?

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  31. And for the record, even tired you write much better than I do and can. Even when fresh, I often disguise my lazy ineptitude in fuzzy winks and nudges.

    Perhaps upon another day the "grasshoppers" can entertain the muses again...

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  32. But if they "win" their wager and then attribute it to Divine assistance...

    ...They might, as a concession to "the myth" - because they believe it has a greater value than the "truth".

    CUSTOM CREATES THE WHOLE OF EQUITY, FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT IT IS ACCEPTED. IT IS THE MYSTICAL FOUNDATION OF ITS AUTHORITY; WHOEVER CARRIES IT BACK TO FIRST PRINCIPLES DESTROYS IT. NOTHING IS SO FAULTY AS THOSE LAWS WHICH CORRECT FAULTS.

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  33. That was re even tired you write much better ... to just give you an instance. :)

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  34. ...and then its' pure alchemy beyond that point and into "uncharted" territory.

    If you consider a million dollars in cash just finance, te salute, Don Corleone.

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  35. Muchas gracias...

    I do sh*t a pearl every now and again. ;)

    But then again, perhaps that simply proves that the oyster's powers of accretion are derived from their environment.

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  36. ...perhaps a concession to custom represents the "opposite" of an act of "hubris" (ie - Goethe's conduct).

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  37. ...and you will forgive my importunate soul. :)

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  38. ...Yes, but only after you have made the wager. You will not understand the folly of it, unless you have.

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  39. Woo-Hoo!

    I've some business to attend at the moment... but now I've a treat to look forward to at its' end.

    I'll be back. :)

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  40. ...Thanks FJ. I too must go off to sleep. Today was a long day. :)

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