Sunday, 3 August 2008

Everything is decor related

when it relates to the condition of man.

The Russian novelist, dramatist and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died 3 August, 2008.

The opening of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Nobel Prize lecture, which he won in 1970, ...for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature. -

Just as that puzzled savage who has picked up - a strange cast-up from the ocean? - something unearthed from the sands? - or an obscure object fallen down from the sky? - intricate in curves, it gleams first dully and then with a bright thrust of light. Just as he turns it this way and that, turns it over, trying to discover what to do with it, trying to discover some mundane function within his own grasp, never dreaming of its higher function.

So also we, holding Art in our hands, confidently consider ourselves to be its masters; boldly we direct it, we renew, reform and manifest it; we sell it for money, use it to please those in power; turn to it at one moment for amusement - right down to popular songs and night-clubs, and at another - grabbing the nearest weapon, cork or cudgel - for the passing needs of politics and for narrow-minded social ends. But art is not defiled by our efforts, neither does it thereby depart from its true nature, but on each occasion and in each application it gives to us a part of its secret inner light.

But shall we ever grasp the whole of that light? Who will dare to say that he has DEFINED Art, enumerated all its facets? Perhaps once upon a time someone understood and told us, but we could not remain satisfied with that for long; we listened, and neglected, and threw it out there and then, hurrying as always to exchange even the very best - if only for something new! And when we are told again the old truth, we shall not even remember that we once possessed it.

Yo Yo Ma plays Dvorak's Silent Woods


Pigtown-Design said...

I just heard that news. I was listening to an intersting graduation address he gave at Harvard a while ago. I had to agree with a lot of it.

HOBAC said...

fairfax - as soon as I have done some work and answered my emails I shall listen to that ; )

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Exquisite words.
May he rest in peace.

Patricia Gray said...

Thanks for the Yo Yo Ma interlude. Exquisite!

Toby Worthington said...

HOBAC, that was wonderful.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

When I read something like this speech it makes me want to never again open my mouth and confirm that I am a blathering idiot in all public situations.

Fortunately, I am in no danger of winning a Nobel prize.

Thanks for another bit of beauty and culture.