Beauty is all — 2 Comments

  1. I’ve wondered about this very issue. People would have little problem hearing Ode to Joy on a harmonica and be transcended by it. Except those who attend the LSO or the RTESO regularly. They might be offended.
    Seamus Heaney was within himself having real trouble. His belief in poetry as a real endeavour hadn’t become part of his soul until his kids were being enrolled into primary school when the master asking the kids what occupation their father did, heard Poet, but then as we do here, translated it into Irish is File (Fill-ahh). And that changed it in Seamus.
    There is an aspect of Allowed to be something. The ‘shur why would he be anything, didn’t he/she come from a bog/mountain/slum/dole’. You see it here and in the UK, and probably elsewhere too.
    To my mind this destroys society. In simple things like the design of a knife, or fork. If you asked German or Italian kids, no longer French for some reason, to design a knife they would come up with something. Here and the UK our kids wouldn’t know what you were on about. You’d get the ‘haven’t we loads of knives at home, why make new ones’.
    And out of this to my mind flows the anti-intellectualism.

  2. I think the Nineteenth Century utilitarianism that pervaded much of our culture caused a turning away from beauty for the sake of it, though even the Victorians, for all their faults, had a vision of construction as being about more than the function of a building.

    The Jefferies quote comes from a foreword to a 2000 edition of Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring,’ a classic piece of protest writing against the notion that the world is there simply for exploitation.

    Politics on both sides of the Irish Sea is almost entirely devoid of anything visionary, debate is reduced to ad hominem attacks. Much as I dislike Jeremy Corbyn, he has reintroduced to political discourse the idea that one can aspire to a society one would regard as beautiful

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