Friday, April 25, 2008

The Paradox of Art

All art, by its very nature, comes from some sort of moral grounding, some view about the world. Some novelists write from the perspective that life is ultimatly meaningless, that in the end, our choices don't matter. These are the depressing stories.

And they are partially right.

Other writers come from the perspective that we should pursue our dreams, follow our hearts and shape a new destiny for ourselves. These are the Disney-ending authors.

And they are partially right.

Art that speaks the truth about the world and about the human condition doesn't compromise and land in the middle between despair and puerile optimism, but embraces them both and expands on them.

It's true that life is meaningless--without God. And that should be a truth that is explored in fiction, but it's not the whole truth and so it can be misleading. It is also true that life is glorious and the future holds promise, but only because of God's dreams and the destiny he offers. The way I understand the Christian message, we shouldn't follow our hearts, because they are deceitful. And we shouldn't pursue our dreams, but rather tune in to God's.

And we shouldn't give up hope, because the best is yet to come.

1 comment:

karla said...

In the heart lie feelings so dark and light, that it is difficult to put words on those emotions. The worst moments of 2 A.M. despair or temptation...the first moment I saw my child--it is hard to put these things into words. When an author (Christian or not) can put these things into words--truth in all of its ugliness and beauty, that is when I find myself reading with a hi-liter in my hand.
"Story" was a book like that for me. Thanks.