THE QUINTESSENTIAL ARTIST Essay

THE QUINTESSENTIAL ARTIST Essay

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Solitude feeds both the genius and the estranged. It frees one from convention thus allowing for deep thought and reflection, which inevitably leads to great discover. Yet there is a delicate balance that one must take carful pains to follow. For without constraints (as defined by society) there are no rules (or laws) to structure and contain the wild nature of the human mind. Chaos ensues; madness seeps in, and the soul is engulfed. Uncontained raw passion is dangerous, insatiable and destructive. Time must not allow it to fester alone and change into uncontrollable urges; it must be shaped and molded to produce mastery for if not, one becomes consumed by sheer emotion and they succumb to the abyss.
Artists (either consciously or subconsciously) acknowledge the abyss and carefully curb passion and bend it to their will in order to produce. Art is representation of human nature. It tries to capture the very essence of humanity behind ink, paper, paint or plaster. But it is a risk; art plunges the observer into the producer’s mind exposing all of the creator’s flaws, and all of his unholy urges. Sometimes these urges are so heinous and distorted that it forces the producer to retreat from society and immerse himself entirely in his work, for art is the only way he knows how to contain his wicked. In turn society makes an unspoken agreement with the creator; they look at what the piece says about them, rather than what is reflects about the creator himself. Thus they turn a blind eye (again either consciously or subconsciously) and no one directly claims that the creator is an abomination and the artist is free to his own morality.
In Thomas Mann’s novella Death In Venice, Mann grapples with the concept of discipline and passio...


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...eir deepest and most personal thoughts into the piece. Ironically in creating something so personal the work often has a universal effect because of its common humanity. Any masterpiece of art such as Death in Venice is timeless. As human interest shifts the piece will maintain validity for as long as human compassion and human weakness exist connections to the piece will survive.



Works Cited

Mann, Thomas, and Clayton Koelb. Death in Venice: a New Translation, Backgrounds and Contexts, Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton, 1994. Print.
Mann, Thomas. Letter to Hedwig Fischer. 14 Oct. 1912. MS. Germany, Bad Tölz, Bavaria.
Mann, Thomas. Letter to Ernst Bertram. 16 Oct. 1911. MS. Germany, Bavaria, Munich.
Cavafy, Constantine, Edmund Keeley, Philip Sherrard, and Geo%u0304rgios P. Savvide%u0304s. C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1975. Print.

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