Today I read that William Blake defined the sun in the 18th century as a chorus of angels singing the glory of God. However, the sun, in reality, was referred to by Robert Anton Wilson as a ‘nuclear furnace’. Both of these definitions of the source of all life seem quite beautiful and worth sharing.
However, the real reason for this post is the ephemeral nature of art in an age where there is just too much goddamn art. Too many writers, too many books, too many shows, too many movies, too many songs. If I have to read another review about a book and how brilliant it is before turning to the next and the next and the next I will lose my mind in the relativist sea. It seems to me that the brilliance of any novel is utterly subjective and the genius of an author is simply in tapping into enough truth in enough people to gain a readership who likes their take on things. That’s all it is, don’t tell me I “have to read this” or “have to read that”, unless it’s a true epic or a true classic. And only time will weed out the chaff. Very few stories strike the universal in a way that is appealing to vast swathes of people.
The problem with our time, also, is that the highest aspiration of any art is simply to capture the attention of the infinite digital flow for about 3 weeks. That’s all. Then it’s on to the next thing. Indeed, we need about 150 years to sort things out. But by then there will be 45,000 new books you “have to read”.