Language and Education - III : Arts

The arguments of last two posts seem to indicate that the future of human languages is quite bleak. There is however a silver lining in the black clouds.

As I see it now, the previous arguments fail if you want to apply them to things related to art. I am using this word in the broad sense of meaning most of the creative activities. Now in art, there is little role of "building on top". Surely to become a good writer, as anybody would tell you, you must read a lot or to produce good music, it helps to listen to a lot of good music. It helps but again whenever you start, you are at ground zero. You have to start on your own and buildup. The fact that Ghalib wrote very good sher-o-shayari, makes it no easy or no less creative for a new shayaar to start writing. Similarly Picasso's paintings might have influenced a lot of painters but each and every one of their works is a result of a journey they did alone.

Another point is that I think most of the art is very personal. A true artist creates and lets the creation go but that in way takes away the individuality that resides in those creations. And so something like "collective feelings" won't do. It just doesn't fit my concept of creativity as of now.

Now the problem of channel remains true even in this case. You will find no artist who will say that he has been able to convey exactly what he wanted in his creation. Because if he had been able to, there will be little motivation for that next one. However this vagueness is the biggest asset that languages and other mediums of artistic expressions have over a better channel. They allow the artist to keep his individuality and still give enough to the world. Naked feelings are too crude to be conveyed around. And anyway, we have always had that means of communication called inspiration that sciences lack so much. I think this combinations is very good for the purpose at hand.

Someday in retrospect, it will seem ironical that the first ones to dump languages were the sciences whom it served beautifully always and it took arts to save it and nurture it who always complained about its inadequacy for their purposes.


Braveheart said…
I can see the connection with my comment down there to your ghazal. But otherwise, I didnt get anything. I might read these three posts sometime later to see some point. But I am too scred of all the analytical and mathematical talks.

Your last post in this series makes maximum sense to me. But I doubt sciences can survive that long to have a claim against languages. Woh shama kya bujhe jise roshan khuda kare! What arts nurture is beyond the perishing prowess of Sciences.

Though I am not quite sure of what you wanted to say, let me just add this much - A kid can dress himself the way adults do, but it can not start thinking as the adults do. Some cycles of evolution are beyond us. We have to respect them.

Jaya said…
Nice series :-) Just a thought on arts and development of language. You rightly said that in arts there is little role of "building on top" of what exists. But there is another way in which what exists in arts affects the future creations; a way different from inspiration.

Consider writing to illustrate. There are so many feelings and experiences in the world which many people share and many of them happen to be writers. Certain ways of expression are just apt to describe those feelings and hence come in the history of writing some "cliched" expressions, which are used again and again and in later stages probably even frivously. Now, for a new writer, even if the expression rightly portrays his/her feelings, he/she will be constrained not to use it to avoid becoming "cliched". (This is unlike sciences, where use of jargon is perfectly fine as many times as you like!) Can it hamper a writer by preventing him/her to go further?

Well, it can actually lead to further creativity. As in one would try to find more creative ways of expressing the same thing, despite a pretty good way existing for it. This will enrich the language, as you envisage.

Going further, is it possible that arts will be able to enrich language so much that science will not need to abandon it?

Have I been able to connect my thoughts to your post or did I end up repeating what you said? :-)
Braveheart said…
Thats a very relevant and lovely point by Jaya. Now I can see things more clearly :)

'Building on top' is a really impressive theory. My point of view against what Jaya said goes like this --

For a moment separate Art from Artist. An artist is a mortal with limitations of every kind. He has to go through building on top cycle. But Art does not. Art is in expressions. There is just one and the only eternal truth that we seek for in Arts. Our expressions represent our respective journeys.

I would refrain from getting into sciences. But I belive that does 'build on top'. There is nothing eternal about it. Its as momentary as human begins themselves; infact much more short-lived than them.

Hence an artist 'needs' to be a good reader too. He needs to grow as a person. He should first try to identify himself. Art is the only way to discover yourself. You find yourself in metaphors, in different visions and claims of beauty and its celebration. And Its only when you have found something that you can think of expressing. Else, whatever you say, can be summarized in two words - 'Sense of Amazement' and 'Copying'.

Exploring Arts, an artist matures. He discovers new horizons. And this is where he gets rid of cliched expressions. As hesse said, every human being is a new experiment of nature. We traverse different paths in our journey. We are bound to see different things differently. The key lies in exploration, discover and a desire to grow.


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