Monday, July 19, 2010

Ideal Realism and the Pro-Modern Era Defined (First Draft)

So then, what is Ideal Realism?

Almost exactly how it sounds. i could write a thousand poems on one particular subject.  Half might be created with an array of traditional forms handed down to me from writers and critics spanning the ages.  Half might be hit or near hit attempts at verse or prose free of these forms. all would likely be singular, differing in appearance, rhythm, tone and conceit. all would be me, the ideal. Ideal only because i am the originator of the poems, i am the instrument of my ideas.  all would also be that one particular subject, the real. And i have to believe any subject, animate or other, myself or other, is equally an instrument of its own ideal form. The process of being me is real. The process of formulating who i am, by thought or action, in relation to a subject, ideal. If you give enough thought to these past two statements, you'll eventually emerge, as i have, with an understanding that as we exist, Ideal Realism is a constant.

Within the canon of western literature, the movement of realism was an attempt to deliver an objective view of reality by portraying it in an unadorned but accurate fashion. This to say that it is possible to consider a subject without bias or interpretation and also to then present it as it is on its own, without adornment. To leave to it to the viewer or reader to discover a romance or an enlightenment.

In the contemporary world, journalism and its style of writing have supplanted the realist movement with its ambition to deliver a 'faithful representation of reality.' Literary movements have since moved both up and down this ladder. And still neither realism nor journalism has been able to bypass two glowing ailments of their cause.

The first ailment is bias.  Bias in its simplest form is, at least here, defined as the real true and maybe hidden reason the writer picked that subject at all. Bias is motive. Perhaps yes, the subject as expressed by a realist, is apparently the real thing, appearing beforehand for the realist's consideration.  Perhaps also, and likely, the subject did not simply appear in vacuum and the realist likely did not just happened to have on hand the means to record exactly who or what that real thing is.

Practically speaking though, realists and journalists venture out looking for real things, using their own judgment to determine what to capture and what to leave off the page. In cinema and photography, this is called framing. Since the advent of these latter forms of art, writers also utilize framing. And this choice or framing, made by journalists, writers, artists, etcetera, is called bias.  Bias is inescapable and subsequently the undoing of the realist intention. 

The second ailment is called observer effect or observer-expectancy effect, which is similar to bias in that the realists' or journalists' goal of actual representation is automatically thwarted.  Observer effect is a concept discovered in physics first, then applied to psychology and information technology (the real world, the mind world, and the e-world) whereby the behavior or attitude of the subject is affected by the observer. Some will claim this effect only occurs when the observed is aware of their status as such. However, it may be true (and I believe it is) that if an atom in a petri dish behaves differently when observed, then so must an atom in the sun. Of course, discovery of universally applicable laws comes perhaps only after discoveries of the exceptions to universality.

Journalism has accounted for its failings by embracing them. Professional journals will announce unabashedly what their bias is, they will behave in a biased manner because that is truthful and also lucrative.  In western literature, realists similarly accepted their bias when they ceased to announce themselves as realists and started to embrace the Modern Temper, calling themselves modernists.

The Modern Temper was a sawing off of the muzzle belonging to the traditional literary canon. There were rules comprising the literary tradition, yes, but showcasing the rules being broken was what modernism was all about. To present a thing not as it is, but as it is shocking! Such was modernism.

There came another sea change halfway through the 20th Century and, tada, Post-Modernism was born. Post-Modernism was not a rule breaker but a rule questioner.  Where the Moderns looked to their forefathers and said, "this was you and THIS IS ME!da da da $&^*(BLAST)!!", the Post-Moderns asked and answered, "so, where were all the females and homosexuals and brown and yellow people in the last thousand years? hiding out and forgotten about!" The Post-Moderns were unfazed by rule breaking, that was their birthright. They were preoccupied with redefining the rules of tradition to allow for an all-inclusive literary canon.  

And here we return to Ideal Realism and the Pro-Modern Era we hope to furnish by it.

So what is Pro-Modernism?

Well in this Pro-Modern Era, we are like our Modern brethren where we believe in shock, but rather we say "everything is always shocking," and thereby hope to do everything proper justice. And like our Post-Modern brethren, we accept in our regard the precious multitude of everything and realize, or rather try to, all the many spokes that run center to the wheel. And Ideal Realism is the tool that allows us to be both selfish, starting with ourselves as subject, and selfless, allowing the outside world to subject us as much or as little as we would subject it.

Pro-Modernism, when it is at last widely understood and practiced, will be seen as a handshake between all that is best of Modernism and Post-Modernism, giving these movements full credit for each being half of the crowning achievement of a thousand years of art and literature.  Pro-modernism is a forsaking of angsty tract and depiction, an embracing of positive thought energy, and perhaps also a catalyst for a new wing in the Great Library we are ever achieving. If it ever boils out from the arts and into the sciences, social and economic in particular, it should be like an agent that encourages pro-activity in means and pure self-renewing excitement in ends.

And that is all i have to say about Ideal Realism and the Pro-Modern Era for now. I may someday revise or amend this treatise, so to better impress the points herein, or to further develop the concept.  For now, my long sentences of succinct rhythm and my own meager understanding of Ideal Realism, as it occurs in the body of my work, will have to suffice.

i should very much like it and would be honored if you would further consider the greater conceit of this writing, and accept this one challenge in your own daily chore---acknowledge yourself as both origin and endpoint, but do so knowing that your subject is equally the same.  Therein, if you can imagine a line of sight as a thread, you shall be witness to and part of the formation of infinity in art and, really, all things tying together and, dare i say, at last! ........^...*...

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