Monday, May 07, 2007


It is always good to not take yourself too seriously, especially if you are an artist. Taking yourself too seriously has led to many a downfall. Just look at the career of Crazy Town (Shifty Shellshock simply could not better "Butterfly", so begins a downward spiral; he is the F. Scott Fitzgerald of rap rock. "Gift of the Game" is Gatsby, and "Darkside" is The Last Tycoon ).

When you can parody yourself, that is a good sign. James Joyce constantly makes fun of his style and reputation, especially in Finnegans Wake (the most complex and difficult work of literature that is more aware of its overt pretentiousness than any of its critics could ever be: " the Nichtian glossery which purveys aprioric roots for aposteriorious tongues this is nat language in any sinse of the world", 83-10-12).

Another good example would be this poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne, the hugely underrated Victorian poet, which parodies his uncompromising flowery grandiloquence:

ROM the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn through a notable nimbus of nebulous noonshine,
Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with fear of the flies as they float,
Are the looks of our lovers that lustrously lean from a marvel of mystic miraculous moonshine,
These that we feel in the blood of our blushes that thicken and threaten with throbs through the throat?
Thicken and thrill as a theatre thronged at appeal of an actor's appalled agitation,
Fainter with fear of the fires of the future than pale with the promise of pride in the past;
Flushed with the famishing fullness of fever that reddens with radiance and rathe* recreation

*[speedy].... "

Swinburne was a multilingual virtuoso of meter, rhyme and vocabulary. To give you some idea of his mastery of all poetic form, Kenneth Haynes has counted about 250 verse forms in Tennyson. Swinburne used well over 400. Even when he's trying to write bad poetry and make fun of himself (including providing a useful footnote for a difficult archaic word, 'rathe'), he does it with brilliance and skill.

A sign of a great artist, is the self-knowledge and good humor to be able to annihilate as well as you create.
That's your bit of wisdom for the day. Carry on in peace, my butterfly, sugar, baby.


Blogger A. B. Chairiet said...

(giggling) Love it! I think all artist are kinda pretentious...not on all cheerleaders seem dumb and slutty, whether they truly are or not. So why not laugh about it; I agree. :)

Are you on summer vacation yet?

If not, good luck with exams and such.

If you are...I hope you're having a great time. :)

Happy Friday!
~ Ash

9:12 AM  

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