Iris Theoretical Essays

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How far reshaping involves offences against truth is a problem any artist must face.

A deep motive for making literature or art of any sort is the desire to defeat the formlessness of the world and cheer oneself up by constructing forms out of what might otherwise seem a mass of senseless rubble.

Art may extend this knowledge but is also tested by it.

There is always more bad art around than good art, and more people like bad art than like good art.

If serious art is a primary aim then some sort of justice is a primary aim.

A social theme presented as art is likely to be more clarified even if it is less immediately persuasive.

[…] Good art is good for people precisely because it is not fantasy but imagination.

It breaks the grip of our own dull fantasy life and stirs us to the effort of true vision.

We enjoy art, even simple art, because it disturbs us in deep often incomprehensible ways; and this is one reason why it is good for us when it is good and bad for us when it is bad.

Art is mimesis and good art is, to use another Platonic term, anamnesis, “memory” of what we did not know we knew…


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