domingo, 2 de enero de 2005

Second day of the year

Somehow, my first day of the year 2005 ends on the second day of the year, and with the following quote on my mind, from The third man:

"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they have brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cockoo clock."

I always thought this quote to be great, but today I don't really think it's that great. I think it's too demagogical, too cool in a superficial and even irresponsible way. Somehow, artists like Orson Wells want their work to be more than a simple intellectual entertainment, and they want to describe it as the product of an era, the depiction of a society or whatever you want to think of. Artists that think being on the ethical and well-behaving part of the society is too nice and beautiful, and definitely not "artistic". They need evil, they need sadness, they need misery: it's like the poet who thinks only suffering can be transmitted through poetry. That only suffering is of artistic value. And thus they need to create a dramatic character out of themselves.

Is the quote valid today? I think we sort of changed our way of thinking. Maybe because nowadays we can witness everyday the outcomes of a period like the one of the Italy of the Borgias. We witness terror, wars, crime and misery everyday on TV; we witness everyday the personal dramas that emerge from this situations, we know personal stories of a mother that lost her son and husband after a bomb targeted their home. No, the Italy of the Borgias is today something terribly present, not just a distant period of ancient Europe. I know I don't make my point very clear, I know I can write what I'm writing in a better way, sorry I'm tired. I go to bed, just take the thought and try to create out of it something better in your minds.

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