I've been thinking about, not the "meaning" of art, as I believe that's an endemic, primordial encompassing, but how an artist should be in relation to their subject matter. Keats purportedly could conceive evil just as easily as he could (conceive) good. Counter Shakespeare's Iago to his Imogen, and you'll see, an artist isn't meant to dabble in ethical matters. In a previous blog I mentioned Truman's (Capote) apple theory, and Wilde held this too. That an artist must be distanced from their subject matter, and not simply to employ the lyrical beauty of a piece, but to master its integrity. Dorian Gray wasn't meant for criminals and illiterates (allusion to The Scots Observer). The atmosphere of perceived corruption in Dorian Gray was meant to be vague, to push the plot and its (piece's) vocation. People who complained of it being an immoral book, failed to see, any sins that were conceived in reading it were of their own kind, their own proclivities, and making.
I have an idea about art outlined in my second novel. I'd include an excerpt from it, here, but have been advised to keep the work to myself. It is this: its birthing is idea, and becomes concept when the idea achieves a finality, going from thought to perception. It's when the artist can perceive the color, taste, and tact of the idea that it becomes a concept to be had. Once this is put to paper, the concept dies, and evolves into something that requires lyricism and integrity, which is in the artist's purview, always, instinct*ually*, what I would deem a memory. It is only in this "memory" that a re-creation occurs; so concept, idea are refashioned into a climax, whose denouement occurs when the audience looks on, upon, the piece.
When the climax dies, so too does the secret. An artist always has a view no one will fully comprehend. People can conceive of things, kill the author/artist, and create their own concepts, which are sustained in climax. The climax doesn't die for them, because they are on the receiving end.
In my second novel I do project a juxtaposition between ancestry and historicism. It seems, to me, with a work of art, the ancestry is always in the author's scope; it's the audience who give it a new identity, fashioned not from the past, but the future. Any link to the past is thus, obliterated. Art is made historical by being historicized, but historicism can only go so far. I think when a reader realizes the artist was committing suicide in giving the piece away, a small act of suicide, mind you, because the very distance between the artist and their climax includes, ineluctably, an individual, unique, bent. It is only the artist who can create a piece endemic to themselves. When a reader realizes this, they see how magical art is. Because it sustains them (audience) in climax.
Of course, none of this can occur if an artist is in the immense immediacy of their emotions. They must be distanced. The subject is meant to be distanced. They must be able to eschew ethics, and make a climax out of the integrity of the memory at hand. It is only in the integrity of this memory, that a climax of truth and integration exists. Without which, there would be nothing of creation but pop and insurmountable fluff, good to escape, but not good, for Art.