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[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]marcia m eaton
Thu, 5 Nov 1998 10:51:59 -0500
Greetings. Ron and Marcia are sitting together in the same room while
attending the annual national meeting of The American Society for
Aesthetics in Bloominton, Indiana. We will take the opportunity to respond
together to some of your recent messages.
On "road kill": I sympathize with the teacher who had road kill offered up
as an example of something ugly--but this was surely a vivid experience for
everyone. Perhaps in the future all of the students will think about
beauty when they see road kill! Marcia.
Also, the issue of WHY a specimen of roadkill strikes us all immediately
as ugly is really worth exploring. I remember a lovely poem by Richard
Eberhart called "Groundhog" in which the poet reflects on the eventual
transformation of an animal corpse back into nature. The poem makes the
process seem beautiful, even if the original, bloodied animal wasn't.
There are quite a few poets and philosophers who have tried to work out the
puzzling relations between our responses to shocking, even disgusting,
things and our appreciation for nature and natural change. You might want
to look at what Guy Sircello says in A NEW THEORY OF BEAUTY. Ron
One of you worries that creating a sense of pride of place in your students
that will result in beautifying the landscape might be a "lost cause." I
certainly hope not. In a future walk, Ron and I will talk about what
messages are sent by the things we create. What do cluttered, "junky"
backyards say about their owners? Do overly tidy lawns also offend some
people? Would raising such an issue in your classes be difficult, i.e.
would it tread on sensitive toes? How might this question be related to
the question of taste? Do some people actually take pleasure in looking
out their windows at a lawn that displays a a lot of "stuff"? Marcia