GREAT STUFF ABOUT LITERATURE/ART/READING–(3)

from Art and Reality by Joyce Cary (1958; 1961)

Sympathy is essential to the reader and writer. By sympathy the reader can obtain from the created world of art a knowledge of truth, of the real world, with exactly the same sense of illumination as if he had discovered it by force of intuition. So the reader’s process of creative discovery follows the same course as the writer’s.

The reader is often aware of learning more about the world from a book than he gets from actual experience,

not only because in the book he is prepared to find significance in events that mean nothing in life, but because those events in the book are related to each other in a coherent valuation which sets them in ordered relation of importance, and this can reveal to him in what had seemed the mere confusion of his daily affairs new orders of meaning … created by the author … with truth in context … showing motive and morality.

In summary:

PRIMITIVE RESPONSE [innate feelings] + EDUCATION [conceptual/symbolic]

AND

INTUITION [the recognition of the objective real: seeing what’s there]

PLUS REFLECTION, then EXPRESSION: ART

Once more: Art is the MEANS by which we can express ourselves in forms of meaning and communicate these meanings to others. It is the only means by which we can convey both FACTS and FEELINGS about the fact.

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2 comments
  1. mcwoman said:

    Nice post. Thought-provoking. Thanks.

  2. This is really interesting:

    By sympathy the reader can obtain from the created world of art a knowledge of truth, of the real world, with exactly the same sense of illumination as if he had discovered it by force of intuition. So the reader’s process of creative discovery follows the same course as the writer’s.

    And so is this:

    The reader is often aware of learning more about the world from a book than he gets from actual experience, not only because in the book he is prepared to find significance in events that mean nothing in life, but because those events in the book are related to each other in a coherent valuation which sets them in ordered relation of importance, and this can reveal to him in what had seemed the mere confusion of his daily affairs new orders of meaning.

    No wonder we like to read.

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