Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Quote of the Day

with 7 comments

Reading the very best writers—let us say Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Tolstoy—is not going to make us better citizens. Art is perfectly useless, according to the sublime Oscar Wilde, who was right about everything. He also told us that all bad poetry is sincere. Had I the power to do so, I would command that these words be engraved above every gate at every university, so that each student might ponder the splendor of the insight.

Harold Bloom, The Western Canon

Written by nevalalee

May 23, 2011 at 7:51 am

7 Responses

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  1. Must have said it while drunk.

    Art is the language of the soul…

    You don’t want to be a good citizen.

    You want to embody an ideal from beyond.


    May 23, 2011 at 9:31 am

  2. Or shall I say “one can aspire to an ideal beyond”…


    May 23, 2011 at 9:31 am

  3. lars von trier

    On Hitler…
    “I’m saying that I think I understand the man”

    Thank you!!

    Trying to understand is half the battle. IF we don’t try we will never know when we come across it again.


    May 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

  4. Oh…I’m on a burn now…

    Let me get it off my chest.

    Von Trier (maybe I should offer myself as his press agent) – (laugh)

    Artists speak in archetypal language that cannot be confined to time and place.

    So Hitler is not Hitler, Nazi is not Nazi and Lars is not even Lars. At least in his mind.

    They’re ideas that transpose themselves.

    He gave equal time to all. He thought he might like to BE Jew. Well, how could he?

    Except symbollically.


    Grow up, Cannes!


    May 23, 2011 at 10:55 am

  5. It sometimes disturbs me that we are a culture lacking in morals these days (Lars excluded)…

    The press looked on watching him dig a hole and then sharpened their knives.

    Could someone not have interjected?

    “We are taking your comments in the spirit of fun and philisophical thought, surely this is not the place, Lars”?

    Sort of let him know he was in danger?


    They waited.

    I actually thought I wanted to BE a journalist at one point.


    May 23, 2011 at 10:58 am

  6. You make some good points. They might fit more comfortably, though, in the existing Von Trier thread, where they’re much more likely to be found by readers interested in the topic. Maybe you’d like to transfer this conversation there?


    May 23, 2011 at 11:28 am

  7. Yes, feel free to move my messages over or delete as necessary.


    May 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm

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