Thursday, June 25, 2009

Art: What Is Worthy?

Ayn Rand quoted by Leonard Peikoff on what is worth re-creating in art:

Misery, disease, disaster, evil, all the negatives of human existence, are proper objects of study in life, for the purpose of understanding and correcting them—but are not proper objects of contemplation for contemplation's sake. In art, and in literature, these negatives are worth recreating only in relation to some positive, as a foil, as a contrast, as a means of stressing the positive—but not as an end in themselves ....

That one should wish to enjoy the contemplation of values, of the good—of man's greatness, intelligence, ability, virtue, heroism—is self-explanatory. It is the contemplation of the evil that requires explanation and justification; and the same goes for the contemplation of the mediocre, the undistinguished, the commonplace, the meaningless, the mindless.

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, p. 443

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