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Lesson Plans

Re: size/meaning

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
R. Moore (ronmoore)
Fri, 2 Apr 1999 16:28:52 -0800 (PST)

One more thought to add to the very fruitful size/meaning dialogue that
has been going on at this website: Consider size and meaning in
literature and music. Sometimes a very short poem (a haiku, say) can have
a greater impact than a very long one (a rambling pseudo-epic of the kind
popular in the 19th Century, say). And sometimes a short, compact piece
of music (Pachelbel's Canon, say) can mean more to us than a loose, huge
composition that seems overblown (Bruckner's symphonies, say). In these
cases, we are inclined to say that the motivating idea has been expressed
economically and powerfully in the short pieces and less so in the longer
pieces. So what comes across in the latter (comparatively speaking) is
phoney power, pretentiousness. maybe the same is sometimes true of works
in the visual arts.