Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Each of these bear as many repeat reads as a lifetime could muster

Where to begin? Posted by Matthew
A while back, a couple of friends told me that my “classical artistry” and now “Great Artistry” project I’ve been developing makes sense to them as artists, especially the aspect that deals with being familiar with the Great Ideas found in the Great Books, as part of the literacy of being an artist (or, the grammar, of being an artist). Their question was, ok, I get you, no, what should I read? Where should I begin?
At some point, I’ll write up a short essay to go into the whys of my particular choices, and the “choose your own adventure” aspect to the Great Books that never ought be forgotten (cuz that is part of what makes the whole thing fun).
In the meantime, here’s what I’m working on as the absolute basic reading list. If I were to choose three authors, I would choose Plato, Shakespeare, and (um) the peeps who wrote the Bible. Of course, each of those amount to enormous volumes. To get going, here’s the particular works I chose as the literary part of “Great Artistry 101″:
  • Bible (3): Book of Genesis, Book of Job, and Book of Ecclesiastes
  • Plato (4) : Charmides, Meno, Apology, and Crito
  • Shakespeare (1): King Lear

The reason I choose these is that each are relatively short and are indisputably influential. Taken together, these could be read quickly in a month, or slowly over a summer (or any season). Each of these bear as many repeat reads as a lifetime could muster. Further, these bring up many Great Ideas, for consideration not only as content for works of art, but for actual artistry, and what kind of values might be central to being an artist. The dialogue, Meno, for example, asks “Can virtue be taught?” and that can easily be adapted to “can artistry be taught?” Which, of course, is one of the most pertinent questions the artist can face, and I think, should face. If only to save thousands of dollars in potentially regretted college loans for that completely awesome art degree. This entry was posted on Monday, June 11th, 2007 at 3:58 pm and is filed under Reading, Wisdom. « Tango for Children of Exile « Home » About the Authors Great Artistry, a manifesto Great Quotes Polysemy, a manifesto

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