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Old 06-25-2017   #21
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Re: Classics Online

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
Hey, Mr. Veech!

Of course it all comes down to preference in the end. Ligotti is quite right on that.

But Durrenmatt claimed all great Art was 'playful'. (What are your thoughts on that?) Assuming that is true, we have to assume there is an element of play in even the most dour of artists.

Lovecraft never struck me as dour. But there was, I believe, an element of play that ran through much of his fiction. He seemed to delight in including disguised bits of autobiography in his fiction and I suspect this was a conscious artistic decision, not an unconscious Freudian thing. I'm sure he never dreamed that future critics would notice this. How could he? He died thinking his work was an abject failure.
I don't know what Durrenmatt means by "playfulness." I was using the term in a very conventional sense, i.e., overly satirical, self-consciously innovative, humorous, etc. These aren't inherently bad things; I'm just not easily impressed by them. Perhaps I should be.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 06-25-2017   #22
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Re: Classics Online

I think what Durrenmatt meant by 'playfulness' was the artist's willingness to play with possibilities, choices, even going against his inclination, whatever. I also think he saw the artist's ability to cannibalize his own experience in a disguised form (see my comment on Lovecraft) as 'play.'
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