[lit-ideas] Re: My Greek Coach

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 12:15:44 EST

Torgeir Fjeld writes:
>Very good, Speranza. One tutee notes that Poetica Ars is all about  effect 
>spectators, and hence social in its basis.


Exactly. It's not clear to me what kind of 'tutorial' (or 'mentorial',  as 
Geary prefers -- "we should give Mentor some credit -- he was an  
hermaphrodite") would involve 'aesthetics'.

When Baumgarten coined "Aistheticks" he had no idea what he was talking  
about. For the Greeks there was no discipline concerning the _senses_. It would 
be like having a discipline concerning the bubbles -- as in "I'm forever 
blowing  bubbles". Natural, and undisciplined.
The Greeks were clear that one thing was artisanship (tekhnai) and another  
beauty (kallos). "Kallos" was perceived _only_ through the _senses_ 
(aisthesis),  but not necessarily the product of an artisan would _evoke_ a 
perception  of 'beauty' in the 'addressee'.
First, artisans are pretty rough people, and they could care less about  
Gricean -- even Grecian -- intentions. Most sculptors I've met cannot even 
proper dialect.
For _kallos_ itself, the Greeks had resort to the male body or female body  
(for Lesbos). Polykleitos, the first serious sculptor, wrote a book which he  
called, "The Spear Bearer" (Doruphoros) and this is described by Pliny (Nat.  
Hist.) as being the "Kanon" of beauty. This is one point where natural kallos  
meets 'artificial' kallos.
R. Paul will notice that the Greeks cared little for sculpture as far as  
Plato is concerned, but Plato's teacher's dad was a sculptor, so perhaps he was 
being _polite_.
With the hellenistics, everything went to the dogs (literally). Laocoon,  for 
example, a hellenistic sculptoric group, cannot be meant to produce an  
effect of "Oh, the beauty of it", because it's too complicated. So it's  more 
the sublime of it" -- --For surely the face of Laocoon is _ugly_ with  so many 
contorsions, if that's the word.
So, a Greek coach in 'art' would be a bit _unthinkable_. For the Coach  would 
delight in the beauty of his tutee and vice versa. No need to go  musea!
Fjeld quotes more like from _ars poetica_, which for Aristotle indeed was a  
different animal. I don't think Greek coaches took tuttees to the theatre.  
First, it was _too over-civilized_ for the rather short time they were allotted 
a tuttee, so why care?
The activity, "going to the theatre" was more for females. Aristotle said  
they would deliver children on the grades. This was due to their inability to  
tell fiction (myth) from reality. So upon seeing Medea kill her son, a pregnant 
 woman, out of _terror_ would expand her diaphragma and have a little Greek  
Imagine the noise in the theatre (open air and all) with the baby  crying.
Other than theatre, and the 'plastic arts', there's not much for the Greek  
coach to dwell on the 'arts' at all.
Art of hunting perhaps, or art of fishing, or art of swimming. If you think  
of it, and I mean D. Ritchie in special for 'you', the modern "..... Studies" 
is  a descendant of the old Greek, "... tekhne".
There was an art for _everything_. I would not be surprised if the book  they 
are so avidly reading in "Name of the Rose" is not the lost Aristotelian  
tract on the 'art of shitting'.
   Will Art, Will Nature.

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