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June 11, 2004

My Name Is Asher Lev.

I just finished reading "My Name Is Asher Lev" by Chaim Potok. Good book about a conservative jewish boy trying to reconcile a prodigious artistic gift with his family, friends, and religion. Seeing as how lots of people including myself have dilemmas such as this at some point I was hoping for a happy ending. There is no happy ending. I'm thoroughly depressed. He is still a young man painting honestly when a specific painting of his causes his longtime friends to abandon him angrily, his parents to reject him and never be reconciled to him (though there were many attempts), and the leader of his hassidic jewish community forces him to leave. He ends up moving back to europe without reconcialliation from anyone. I'm thoroughly depressed.

Kate, dangit...

Good quote by picasso that encapsulates my aesthetic philosophy. "Art is a lie which makes us realize the truth."

Posted by pedalboy at June 11, 2004 5:52 AM

hm. good point. but lie is such a harsh word. i may have said facade or or... something. but lie seems to work doesn't it? if you think of it outside of modern culture's definition and in true light of the word and it's more complete meaning, it really does do the job.

Posted by: Joel at June 13, 2004 8:32 PM

yes, I think lie is a pretty good word. On version one of my pedalboy webpage, which was terrible, I had some really stupid intro page that I probably thought was soooo "deep" or something. It had a bunch of stuff on it and then summed it up with, "Art is beautiful deception" or something like that.

Its like that "this is not a pipe" painting. (There's this picture of a pipe and underneath in french it reads, "this is not a pipe") Most people get confused and think the painter is just being contrary for the sake of being contrary. But its true, it is not a pipe. Its an artists interpretation and extrapolation of a pipe. You would never put that paiting in your mouth and light it on fire. I hope not anyway. Art's always a little artificial, and all true art should bring you somewhere, a la "realizing the truth." Got a job interview tomorrow, better get some sleep.

Posted by: pedalboy at June 14, 2004 3:54 AM

yeah, art's a means to the real thing... or at least, often times it's a means to something real. and we know, because of Kant (hehe), that the end is what should be important... or something.

Posted by: Joel at June 14, 2004 7:36 PM
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