I'm reading Tolstoy and feeling at peace with the world. Tolstoy makes me want to pour coffee into lovely cups, set out an ashtray and enter into live discussion with my fellow bloggers. The internet has its limits - there is no space for "..and then..this too!" There are no expressions to read. I feel the limitations especially now, and they frustrate me.
Jenna has trouble with the distinction between art and entertainment, and despite her explination, I'm still at a loss as to why. I like distinctions, they give clarity, and they give an opportunity for excellence that one large grouping cannot allow - a children's abridged production of the Tempest can be very entertaining, but it can't help but fail when compared artistically to a well-prepared, nuanced, professional production. That doesn't make it a bad production, in it's own sphere, it could be excellent, but only if we don't force it to compare itself to something its not.
So I'm not really going to respond, so much as question: (Jenna, I hope this doesn't put you too much on the spot.)
I would like to know why a distinction between art assumes passivity on the part of the audience; why it
seems to place importance on the outward instead of the substance (I would have thought the opposite).
I would like to know what it is about acclaimed works that make you feel they are offering very little.
And I would like to encourage you to delve into the despairing works, which so often offer more than they seem to. I remember reading and rejecting some books that seemed to strip me down, only to realize that it is only by "dying down to the roots" that I can regrow again in strength and certainty.
I hope this doesn't look like an indifferent response, in our commitment to mutual understanding, which I enjoy a lot, I want to be certain I'm not taking things the wrong way and responding in misunderstanding. I want to know and understand. I think that coffee and conversation would help a good deal, and I wish I could pour both you and Mr. Pond a cup.