Saturday, September 6, 2008

Literature and the Cocktail Hour

Deluged by Tropical Storm Hanna today, a good day for blogging I suppose...Not long ago I came across a good quote: "Alcohol makes other people more interesting." At the time I took this to mean alcohol in the perceiver (so true), although it could of course mean alcohol in the perceived as well (somewhat true). As with any psychotropic substance, though, there is clearly a dose-response curve such that beyond a certain point, alcohol does the opposite.

It occurred to me that literature, or the arts in general, may act in the same way. Nietzsche famously wrote that "we have art so that we don't die of the truth." Could he have also written "so that we don't die of boredom?" Sometimes I think that a love of the arts is like a deficiency--wouldn't it be nice if the world just as it is, without all these...ornamentations, were enthralling, engaging, and lovable enough?

No comments: