It was exciting
to hear other examples of how the cinema has affected people in relation
to heavy and light and opposites related to these--the speed and slowness
in "Birth of a Nation"; how we can be deeper and lighter learning about
evil in ourselves from "The Exorcist."
Aesthetic Realism class report:
"Heavy and Light; or Radio, Cinema,
and a Bit of Literature"
By Michael Palmer
asked, "Is all art some dealing with the heaviness and lightness of the
world, and are we either doomed or privileged to make sense of it in our
lives?" I know there are people who feel, as I once did, that they
are doomed to lives that are basically on the surface of things, without
deep meaning. Aesthetic Realism shows that we can understand this
and change, and that the relation of opposites in art and in the world
itself can teach us how.
illustrated this, taking up briefly the second chapter in the book titled
John Chamberlain, telling how America of the 1920s and 30s was strongly
affected by writers such as Theodore Dreiser, Ernest Hemingway, and Sinclair
Lewis. Chamberlain writes about Dreiser's "sense of doom."
Mr. Siegel pointed out that the quality of Dreiser is in that phrase "sense
of doom." "Dreiser" he continued, "goes for two things
in Sister Carrie and
Jennie Gerhardt. He takes
the life of a woman and shows it to be ever so important to the person
having the life, meanwhile Dreiser gives a constant feeling to the reader
that it is all meaningless-- life, as such, is empty." "Doom is a
heavy thing," noted Mr. Siegel, but emptiness is light."
In this chapter,
Chamberlain speaks of young American writers of the 30s who go for large
ideas but lack conviction. Said Mr. Siegel "people can be enthusiastic
long before they're clear. If enthusiasm is not clear it changes
into heaviness, and sometimes anger." He said this was occurring
in America right now--that is the 1970's--because there was nothing which
was loved clearly and deeply.
Then, in what
I feel shows why Aesthetic Realism is needed in the world today, he said
"The one way to be light and heavy at the same time is to care for something
that means a great deal. To be clear about it is to love
it." "Clearness, he said, "is the midway point between heaviness
of Aesthetic Realism makes for honest clearness. It is a oneness
of seriousness and true light heartedness.