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Σάββατο, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Arts censorship in Plato's Republic (Angie Hobbs)


(TEDxWarwick University)

Keep strumming your blue guitars.” So ended Angie Hobbs’ talk on Plato and censorship, in a reference to Wallace Stevens’ poem ‘The Man with the Blue Guitar’. In the poem, a man is lambasted by the people in his green world for playing a blue guitar, which cannot possibly play things as they are.
“In Plato’s Republic,” she tells us, “the character Socrates lays down one of the toughest challenges to art and artists that has ever been made. Initially he has these arguments for very strict censorship, and finally will get rid of nearly all the arts altogether. For somebody like me who loves art and worships artists, it’s really important to have challenges like these.”
For Dr Hobbs, this challenge is like the challenge put by the green people to the man with the blue guitar; it demands that artists justify their art and tell us why it belongs as part of our world. While she does not completely agree with the conclusions Socrates comes to (though points out that these may not entirely be Plato’s views), she feels it is still an important debate.
“I think a lot of artists welcome the chance to reintroduce the Ancient Greek debate which is not in terms of rights but in terms of various kinds of goods and benefits..(http://theboar.org/media/archive/volume-32/issue-11/newspaper/19.pdf)

Picasso, The Old Guitarist - music: Carsick Phil

They said, "You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are."

The man replied, "Things as they are 
Are changed upon the blue guitar."
......


Do not speak to us of the greatness of poetry,
Of the torches wisping in the underground,

Of the structure of vaults upon a point of light.
There are no shadows in our sun,

Day is desire and night is sleep.
There are no shadows anywhere.

The earth, for us, is flat and bare.
There are no shadows.

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