On Poetry and Culture Shock

Shakespeare vs, Britney Spears?

I have discovered a philosophy site with a few interesting (and rather geeky) games. One of them teaches about the characteristics of art: it asks you to give rate six characteristics  art is supposed to have and then it checks how two artists or so-called artists compare according to your own criteria.

This is what I think of the six characteristics the site gives as elements of a work of art:

Great technical ability: Necessary but not essential. It depends on the degree of beauty, maybe.
The work is enjoyable: Again, necessary but not essential.
The work conveys the feelings of the artist: Absolutely unnecessary, of course.
The work conveys an important moral lesson or helps us to live better lives: Again unnecessary.
The formal features of the work are harmonious and/or beautiful: Necessary but not essential.
The work reveals an insight into reality: Essential. Art makes you see the world through different eyes. Having said that, to me language is part of reality,so a work that is very self-referential, a work that plays with language is also revealing an insight into reality.

What I find interesting, rather than the results the test gives to me, are the rates other people have given. Everyone else thinks that the most important value is that the work conveys the feelings of the artist (noooo, bleh, the world is too full of Bécquer fans, yuck), and that it is enjoyable. Beauty and moral lessons are not popular. Feeling and fun are.

You can check the game yourself here.

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