Where does the talent come from?

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Tradition and individual Talent

“… French were the less spontaneous. Perhaps they are; but we might remind ourselves that criticism is as inevitable as breathing, and that we should be none the worse for articulating what passes in our minds when we read a book and feel an emotion about it, for criticizing our own minds in their work of criticism." Paragraph 2

            Critics developed popular believes on works of art and language. “Criticism is as inevitable as breathing” is a brilliant way to explain my last blog. We all subconsciously critique works of literature.  Do you like it, do you not like it are two ways that everyone critics literature, however it only means something if you define why you like it or why you don’t.  Which brings me to the next quotation.


“This historical sense, which is a sense of the timeless as well as of the temporal and of the timeless and of the temporal together, is what makes a writer traditional. And it is at the same time what makes a writer most acutely conscious of his place in time, of his contemporaneity.” (Bottom of paragraph 3)


So does timelessness make a work traditional? Why does something have to be timeless for it to have substantial meaning in the future?  A peace of writing can mean much more in the past because of its surroundings at the time then in the future where the scenery of the poem has been changed.  If the history is not remembered the poem is not timeless at all. So is it the history of a poem that makes it timeless and the timelessness makes its traditional. Why must something be temporal and not spiritual?

" No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead."

First of all, what about the living artistes, why cant you compare new artiest to living artists? I do agree however, with the fact that other art creates the meaning of a work.  People are affected by many different things that change the way they create their art through out their lifetime.  Which is why the background of an artist is important when doing a literary criticism of a certain literature. 

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Katie Vann said:

Kayley, I really liked how your blog was very different from everyone else in that you didn't get sucked into the debate about whether or not emotions can be used to write poetry. Instead, you took a completely different section of the assignment and raised some different questions. I enjoyed reading your blog because it wasn't the same material as what everyone else seems to be bringing up. I had one question for you when I was reading your blog. It was about the timeless questions you were raising. You stated that in order for a work to be timeless, its history needed to be remembered as well. For a work to be timeless, would the history for it be that important if it is a work that can be applied to different generations throughout time? By doing this, it would be addressing a situation/feeling/whatever it was describing that would be shared and experience by people no matter what time period they lived in.

KayleyDardano Author Profile Page said:

Kate I guess it would depend on the work for example if you didn’t know that in Shakespeare time there were a lot of arranged marriages or that people were married young back then you may read the story as absurd. Why would a 14 year old risk her life that way it changes the perspective of the story without the history which then alters the meaning? But I guess what I was trying to say was sometimes the history is needed to create timelessness. So the message may relate to today’s society only if you make connections with the history involved.

Greta Carroll said:

Kayley, I almost picked the first quote that you commented on in this blog for mine. However, I was drawn to it mainly because of Eliot’s commentary about the negativity or criticalness of the French, I found his commentary on this topic rather amusing…but anyway, I liked how you didn’t just discuss one quote, but three. I had to read your entry several times in order to appreciate all the questions were posing and considering.
As for what makes something traditional, I am inclined to say that the meaning of “traditional” like the definition of “literature” is for the most part indefinable. What tradition is to us, like literature, is always going to be affected by our value-judgments.
However, I am going to have to agree with Katie a little bit on what she said too. I definitely agree with you that knowing the history surrounding a work adds a whole new level of meaning and dimension to literary analysis, but I don’t think it is necessarily essential. Take Shakespeare, as you mentioned, I don’t consider “The Merchant of Venice” to be such an amazing work of literature because Shylock is a Jew and at the time Jews were viewed with much suspicion in Europe. I love the play because of the overlapping relationships within it and I love it because of the strong female character of Portia, along with many other reasons. I think it’s important to note that these relationships and Portia’s personality would still exist regardless of when the play was set. So while I think it is important to keep the context of a work into consideration, it’s not the history that makes the work.

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