So. The Deets.
Today, I’d like to tell you about my perspective on art.
The big thing that I learned during my time at L&T was that there are two ways of ‘understanding’ things. One way is that you read something, and you know what it means. The second way is that you feel utter confusion. You read a work and don’t even try to understand it, instead you just let it wash over you.
Now, this may not make a lot of sense (and it didn’t to me at first either) but hear me out. When L&T began, I thought it was going to be like a literature analysis class. I had read the assigned readings, and I was expecting to have a class discussion when I came in on the second day. The reading had been confusing, and I was hoping to ask some questions and get some answers.
Instead, my teacher read a quote from the text and told us to “write to it.” I was baffled. How can I write to it, if I don’t know what it means? What does that even mean? Doesn’t she mean write about it?
But, hey, I’m willing to try new things. I began to write to it. I wrote to it as if it was a stranger, dissecting the sentence physically (e.g. “I notice that you are capitalized strangely–I wonder why the author wrote you that way. When I read the word meek I cant help thinking of a baby deer…”) And Lo and behold, meaning began to unfold.
By ‘talking’ to this quote I had teased out my own meaning for it! And even more amazing, when we took turns reading what we had written, everyone else had done similar things. It was like an unconscious understanding.