I'd like to bend that off to the left a bit by asking my artist-readers this: do you consider yourself as an artist to be an intellectual? In other words, do you feel as if artists should be part of the Great Conversation of the Western Intellectual Tradition that Mortimer Adler most prominently discussed? Philosopher Kenneth Burke wrote in his book The Philosophy of Literary Form:
“Where does the drama get its materials? From the "unending conversation" that is going on at the point in history when we are born. Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress.”
Do you consider the arts part of that unending conversation? Do you consider yourself as an artist part of it? Is that conversation still ongoing, and is it relevant? And who are some of the speakers right now?
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