Showing posts from April, 2017

Cocteau Dream

  I dreamed I met Jean Cocteau. He told me, "'Beauty and the Beast' is about the conflict between two aesthetics: the classical aesthetic, the aesthetic of beauty, that is, composition, proportion, completeness, meaning - and the modern aesthetic, the aesthetic of absurdity: incompleteness, fragmentation, pastiche. The Beast is modern man in his absurdity: life without God, without soul, without purpose, without any given meaning for his existence, a mere animal. Beauty is humanity’s self-image, its ideology so to speak, its self-justification, the way it lies to itself about itself. Obviously, absurdity includes beauty, embraces it as it were, but in a fragmentary, pastiche style, out of place, like the armless Venus de Milo next to a pair of rubber gloves, an automobile and a urinal. Beauty is absurdity’s prisoner, as we are prisoners of the modern world. The life of the beast - the life of modern man - is entirely circumscribed by time, entirely tem