Friday, August 24, 2012

The Roles of Art

My recent post "Can Glee Maintain Rachel Berry's Relatability?" generated some really interesting feedback. Many of you said I brought up some valid points to consider, which is definitely something any writer wants to achieve in our work, so that was great to hear. Additionally, you reminded me to consider the perspective in which I was critiquing the development of a fictional character, and showed me that I was looking at Rachel with the expectation that she should reflect my own desires and insecurities. Which maybe wasn't entirely fair of me to do.

Objectively, I stand by my previous comments about my impressions of season 4. For me, Rachel's story, and more broadly, the New York set story, looks too over the top for my liking and not one I'm particularly interested in right now. For those of you who are excited about it, great; I hope you like it, and I'm glad Lea seems to be having fun with it.

I would like further consider the question though, about the responsibilities of art and artists. Do they simply need to entertain us, or do they need to speak to us on a personal level as well? Do they need to act as a source of validation for each of our circumstances and choices? Provide social commentary on the world-at-large?

The answers to these questions will of course, be different for different people. I often love to delve deep into a novel, film, album and what it may be trying to say; other times, I just need to disengage temporarily from my own life, and there are merits to both ways of interpreting a work. But when I think of the stories that have affected me the most, they are the ones that spoke somehow to my dreams, fears and sense of identity. That resonance, I think, is what separates entertainment and true art.

Of course, what moves each of us personally will never be exactly the same. That diversity of reactions is what makes creative canon so interesting and wonderful.

Which brings me back to my own work. I want to know, what are your thoughts? Your favorite movies, music, books? What would you like to see more of on this website? Because I want to connect with you, too. That's the only fun in it all anyway.

Share stories, pictures. Vent about your day. Ask questions. Stop by next time you're on Facebook or Pinterest.

Mug for Thought is what you make of it.

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