Thursday, November 05, 2015

Lies and Violence v. Truth and Beauty

Solzhenitsyn and Benedict XVI both quote Dostoevsky's "beauty will save the world" remark.  Solzhenitsyn expanded on that a bit in his 1972 Nobel lecture.

...a true work of art carries its verification within itself: Artificial and forced concepts do not survive their trial by images; both image and concept crumble and turn out feeble, pale, and unconvincing. However, works which have drawn on the truth and which have presented it to us in concentrated and vibrant form seize us, attract us to themselves powerfully, and no one ever—even centuries later—will step forth to deny them.

So perhaps the old trinity of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty is not simply the decorous and antiquated formula it seemed to us at the time of our self-confident materialistic youth. If the tops of these three trees do converge, as thinkers used to claim, and if the all too obvious and the overly straight sprouts of Truth and Goodness have been crushed, cut down, or not permitted to grow, then perhaps the whimsical, unpredictable, and ever surprising shoots of Beauty will force their way through and soar up to that very spot, thereby fulfilling the task of all three.

And then no slip of the tongue but a prophecy would be contained in Dostoyevsky’s words: “Beauty will save the world.”...

There is a logic which flows from that trinity of TruthGoodnessBeauty.  Solzhenitsyn begins thus:

...We shall be [asked]: What can literature do in the face of a remorseless assault of open violence? But let us not forget that violence does not and cannot exist by itself: It is invariably intertwined with the lie. They are linked in the most intimate, most organic and profound fashion: Violence cannot conceal itself behind anything except lies, and lies have nothing to maintain them save violence....No longer does violence always and necessarily lunge straight for your throat; more often than not it demands of its subjects only that they pledge allegiance to lies, that they participate in falsehood.

This is what underlies the phrase "You will be made to care."  Roe and Obergefell are the two pre-eminent lies of this era in the US.  Political Correctness is the third.  The lies require violence that is manifested in the Government's powers of enforcement:  imprisonment and/or stripping one's assets.

To Solzhenitsyn, the remedy is Beauty--true Art. is within the power of writers and artists to do much more: to defeat the lie! For in the struggle with lies art has always triumphed and shall always triumph! Visibly, irrefutably for all! Lies can prevail against much in this world, but never against art....

(And yes, that is precisely what was voiced by Christ:  "The Truth shall set you free.")

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