I think everyone who tries to write has an ‘aesthetic’. Naturally it is constantly in flux and evolving and usually operates behind every artistic decision they make, but occasionally it is actually written down for all the world to see. For instance, here is the Imagist Manifesto, mapping out their view of what poetry should be.
From ‘An Imagist Manifesto’:
1. To use the language of common speech, but to employ the exact
word, not the nearly-exact, nor the merely decorative word.
2. We believe that the individuality of a poet may often be better
expressed in free verse than in conventional forms. In poetry, a new
cadence means a new idea.
3. Absolute freedom in the choice of subject.
4. To present an image. We are not a school of painters, but we
believe that poetry should render particulars exactly and not deal in
vague generalities, however magnificent and sonorous. It is for this
reason that we oppose the cosmic poet, who seems to us to shirk the real
difficulties of his art.
5. To produce a poetry that is hard and clear, never blurred nor
6. Finally, most of us believe that concentration is of the very
essence of poetry.
Underneath I’ve drawn up an exciting (!) Aesthetics Quiz for all the family !
- Choose three adjectives to describe prose/poetry at its most perfect.
- A work of art should … finish this sentence in at least three ways that make sense to you.
- Which is more important ? a, Style.
c, Or neither, because they’re inseparable.
4. Name the three most perfect literary works ever written.
5.What are, in your opinion, the key artistic movements ?
6. Who is your ideal audience?
7. I write because …Finish this sentence in at least two ways.
8. If you could choose three writers in any period to be your writing mentor who would it be?
And that’s more than enough for the moment. I’m going to lie down after my first proper blog post but shall attempt to answer these wonderful questions as soon as I can. In the meantime everyone chant ‘Tamagotchi don’t die!’