Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Defense of High Concepts

Past Assistant Director of the the Center for Ethics and Culture, Dan McInerny, has a new blog considering high concepts as expressed in contemporary art forms. Check it out here. A brief snippet:

"Why is the need for what Chesterton calls the “true romantic trash” infinitely deeper and more important than the rules of good art? Why does my son go every morning to his “Lego table,” and the city he has built there and the adventures of its citizens? “Literature is a luxury,” Chesterton affirms, “fiction is a necessity.” Is this because the need to be amused or distracted is deeper than the need to be intellectually stimulated? Or does it have more to do with the wonder provoked by the high concept? For isn’t this what makes a fictional concept “high”—that it generates maximum wonder on the part of an audience?

The high concept is a way of wondering, and philosophy, Aristotle says, begins in wonder. When we engage with a story, we wonder at a fellow human being set out on a path in which he will achieve either happiness or misery. How will it turn out for him? Will he find happiness? Or will he find out that what he thought was happiness really isn’t? To wonder about these questions is the beginning of the quest for wisdom."

He will be updating it regularly. Happy reading!

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