Tuesday, May 18, 2010

folklore

I've started to read the book ON LONGING by Susan Stewart because I discovered that one of my favourite artists, Ann Hamilton, was influenced by it early in her career. Susan Stewart describes modernist novels (like those by James Joyce and Virgina Woolf) as being difficult. They, (like modernist painting) distance the author from the general reader. Susan Stewart reminds us about how folk tales were told around winter kitchen tables and summer campfires in a conversational way. (with no distance) I am reminded of how folk art, because the hand of the maker is so very evident, is like wise intimate. Unlike the mass produced slickness that we have become used to and expect in our daily lives.

"Both the electric toaster and Finnegan's Wake turn their makers into absent and invisible fictions." susan stewart

4 comments:

Kaye Turner said...

How fascinating. That sounds like a book I'd enjoy. I guess there's also the difference between the oral and literary traditions - literally (or not) the voice of the author in the same way that folk art shows the hand of the author. Thanks for such a thought provoking post. Always a delight to come and visit you :-)

La Dolce Vita said...

so very true!

Chrissy Johnson said...

I think it's a much more pleasant swim to wade in the waters of somewhere, as opposed to someone. Am putting On Longing in my library queue. Thank you!

Phyllis said...

Just wrote the book down on my library list for future reference.

I like your interpretation along with Susan's. Your photography along with the ideas is perfect, so real and true and accessible.