A Beautiful Question

Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti - Veronica_Veronese

I have been captivated by a question posed by Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth interviews, wherein he discusses the cave paintings at Lascaux

MOYERS: Do you ever look at these primitive art objects and think not of the art but of the man or woman standing there painting or creating? I find that I speculate — who was he or she?
CAMPBELL: This is what hits you when you go into those ancient caves. What was in their minds as they created these images? How did they get up there? And how did they see anything? The only light they had was a little flickering torch.
And with respect to the problem of beauty — is this beauty intended? Or is it something that is the natural expression of a beautiful spirit? Is the beauty of the bird’s song intentional? In what sense is it intentional? Or is it the expression of the bird, the beauty of the bird’s spirit, you might say? I think that way very often about this art. To what degree was the intention of the artist what we would call “aesthetic” or to what degree expressive? And to what degree is the art something that they had simply learned to do that way?
When a spider makes a beautiful web, the beauty comes out of the spider’s nature. It’s instinctive beauty. How much of the beauty of our own lives is about the beauty of being alive? How much of it is conscious and intentional? That is a big question.

Every word that Campbell speaks is golden, and I urge you to read (US / UK) or listen to (US
/ UK) the interviews in their entirety. If you’ve seen Werner Herzog’s documentary on the more recently-discovered Chauvet Cave, I think you’ll have an even deeper appreciation of the discussion.

RELATED:  30 Scene Ideas for Character Development

How much of the beauty of our own lives is about the beauty of being alive?
How much of it is conscious and intentional?

Roses, book & quill
Write now...
Roses, book & quill
Pick up an Ebook...
Roses, book & quill
Lady Writer

I write about literature, language, love, and living off your pen. Also, fortifying fiction, personal amelioration, and tea.

Roses, book & quill
Roses, book & quill
Learn from a master
Roses, book & quill
Thank you for Sharing!
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on tumblr
Roses, book & quill
3 ONLINE WRITING COURSES
to level up your craft...
01. Plot
keys

Structure your story on one page.

02. Character
apple

Build a framework for stronger characters.

03. Worldbuilding
compasses

Construct a model of your story world.

Your plot, your character & your story world... on ONE PAGE.

NEIL GAIMAN'S WRITING MASTERCLASS. LEARN MORE. MARGARET ATWOOD MASTERCLASS.

This page contains affiliate links which help support the site.

Angie Makes Feminine WordPress Themes
Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,964 other subscribers.