on Facebook, Art and the "law of delicacy"

The phenomenon of Facebook notes intrigues me. And allow me to perpetuate the vicious circle by sharing my views vis a vis a blog entry.

I guess the reason for this recent fascination was brought to my attention for a couple of reasons:

1) I believe one of the benefits of Facebook notes is this window it gives into the mind, psyche, opinions, etc. of our friends that we typically wouldn’t glimpse in such an instant, streamlined manner. Many times, I’ve been inspired, challenged, spurred on, entertained, or helped on to internalize some truth or consider an opposing perspective as a result of reading the often brilliant and sometimes random musings and creations of my fellow facebookers and bloggers.

2) My friend Jeanne recently brought to my attention Kierkegaard’s “law of delicacy” in regard to artistic expression, in which “an author has a right to use what he himself has experienced, is that he is never able to utter verity but is to keep verity for himself and only let it be refracted in various ways.” More on this in a bit…

In regard to Facebook, I suppose it is here that the thin line is drawn, between being an open forum of opinion for social commentary, political debate, pop culture love fests or simple informational exchange on one hand, and on the other, being a platform for artistic expression.

I believe the hodgepodge nature of Facebook notes causes a thin line to be drawn between art and life. The beauty of facebook notes for poets and writers out there is that there is an immediate audience and immediate feedback. The downside, however, is that when poetry and creative writing intermingle with social commentary and personal opinions in Facebook notes, a type of illusion is created: that the poem or short story is, down to every last iota and brush stroke, an exact transposition of the artist’s personal truth.

I love this idea of the “law of delicacy” because it frees the artist to avoid being bound to whatever actual reality in which the art is based. Under the law of delicacy, the aspiring artist takes a step beyond mere “personal expression” into the actual realm of ART.

As a dabbling songwriter and writer, I find that it is often multiple emotional, inspirational threads in my life that coalesce to form the Vision. It is not any one incident or relationship or person that “inspires.” It’s countless impressions, perceptions and experiences that every once in awhile beautifully collide, giving us eyes to see the Vision, and the tangible means to free that Vision into pen and paper or lyric and melody via the tools of hyperbole or metaphor or meter or structure or narrative, much like Michelangelo sitting for days upon days in front of a plain slab of marble before he finally “saw” the angel within that must simply be freed and chiseled out.

And because of its inherent complexity, the source of inspiration may be analyzed and conjectured, but never quantified or settled upon.

After watching Finding Neverland (one of my favorite movies) the other night, this was made even more obvious to me. Whether or not the scenes portrayed in the film are based on actual experiences that J.M. Barrie had, it is interesting to see the translation of stark, tragic but poignant reality into the whimsical and imaginative world of Peter Pan.

It became glaringly obvious to me, that there IS an imaginative leap that occurs. Though we may never precisely know the “verity” of Barrie’s emotional and psychological landscape, he nevertheless allowed that landscape to be refracted through the beautiful, timeless lens of Neverland.

And it is this “law of delicacy” that helps the artist walk the thin line between self-indulgent honesty and false contrivances, making that imaginative leap from inspiration into art.

6 thoughts on “on Facebook, Art and the "law of delicacy"

  1. Yes, Finding Neverland is a great movie. It is fictionalized though, just to note. But still, a delightful film! :)Did tyou know that there’s a new Peter Pan novel out? It’s not like all the other prequels and sequels because all of them contradict Barrie’s original stories. This one is faithful AND it’s based on his idea for more Pan adventure. Click on my name to see!BELIEVE!

  2. A few thoughts in my mind as I read this..First, I can't love that quote enough. I could read it every day and simply wonder at the truth that it so poignantly contains.Second, I think the variety of discussions and detail in Facebook notes is interesting. I love to read writings of yours, Alecia's, and others that are more creatively centered. However, when Michael Dalton used to write random sentences of random thoughts, I found it highly entertaining as well.Third, I agree with your statement:"I believe one of the benefits of Facebook notes is this window it gives into the mind, psyche, opinions, etc. of our friends that we typically wouldn’t glimpse in such an instant, streamlined manner."This is absolutely GLORIOUS. I would never sit down and give you my handwritten book of poetry to read. (well, I wouldn't say never, but it's a long shot). But it's so simple to post what you want to post and edit and personalize and customize on Facebook.Finally…I've spoken to you about Daineal before. One of the things that I admire SO MUCH about his writings (especially the ones from 2007) is that they are so complex and even though I know him fairly well, I often have no idea what he's trying to say. In a way, I find this brilliant, and in other times, I find it frustrating. I'd oft ask him what a certain writing meant, and he would truthfully tell me, "sometimes I don't even know myself."One day when you're looking for something to browse:http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.listAll&friendID=500840&startID=272142857&StartPostedDate=2007-06-03%2023:07:00&next=1&page=5&Mytoken=0D877C7A-9ADC-471C-8D8FA77B1674EDAB37074555(sorry, I don't know how to do those tinyurl things…)And start with 4/25/07 The Captive Pt 2 and read back in time.Yeah.I love writers.

  3. hi never fairy, thanks for checking out my blog–Yes, I actually have bought that book off of amazon.com for like $2.00, but I haven’t read it yet! Jeanne-Thanks for bringing that quote to my attention. Brilliant.So how exactly would one earn/acquire the privilege of perusing your handwritten book…?;)Also, Daineal’s writing basically rocks my face completely off. I am humbled in the presence of his greatness. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hmmm I’d say after traversing through the Outback, Hawaii, and NZ for several months, if it comes with me, you may be able to.Though it’s mostly what I’ve posted online… even fewer, actually, because typing’s so much easier :)And one day, you shall meet Daineal and tell him yourself. Though I told him, too.He’s cool.But hard to find…Sometimes I think I made him up entirely…How cool would it be if he were my alter-ego?

  5. Jeanne…Wow, so only AFTER I claw my way through the Australian Outback desert, swim across the dreaded volcanic lakes of doom in Hawaii and traverse the treacherous mountain passes of New Zealand.. then and ONLY then will I become worthy to lay eyes upon treasured pages of Jeanne’s magical book of poetry?Game on:) I’m down…Also your alter ego theory… that’s totally where it seemed that Dexter Book One was going! hmph. Maybe you DID make Daineal up, and all his writing is actually from YOUR genius brain.That would explain a LOT, actually…Also DAINEAL is an anagram for A DENIAL.whoa…!!

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