Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Platón vs. los poetas

Hoy divagué contra los poetas en clase. No hay nada malo con ser poeta. El problema es otorgarle (o esperar) razón y verdad de los poetas solamente porque hablan bonito.

Estirando el argumento: desde su tumba, Platón sabe que los filósofos corren regresiones, pero no los poetas. (Nota: Si eres poeta, por favor no te tomes esto en serio :-)

Platón vs. los poetas en tres caídas:
(From Plato's Republic, Book X)

"there is an ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry; of which there are many proofs, (...) and there are innumerable other signs of ancient enmity between them"

Round 1: El pintor está más interesado en las "apariencias" que en las "realidades":
(Traducción cuant: El pintor se basa en pocas observaciones que "parecen reales")

Which is the art of painting designed to be --an imitation of things as they are, or as they appear --of appearance or of reality?

--Of appearance.

Then the imitator, I said, is a long way off the truth, and can do all things because he lightly touches on a small part of them, and that part an image. For example: A painter will paint a cobbler, carpenter, or any other artist, though he knows nothing of their arts; and, if he is a good artist, he may deceive children or simple persons, when he shows them his picture of a carpenter from a distance, and they will fancy that they are looking at a real carpenter.

Round 2: El poeta no es más que un pintor
(Traducción cuant: El poeta sabe poco, pero lo adorna como si supiera mucho)

Then must we not infer that all these poetical individuals, beginning with Homer, are only imitators; they copy images of virtue and the like, but the truth they never reach? The poet is like a painter who, as we have already observed, will make a likeness of a cobbler though he understands nothing of cobbling; and his picture is good enough for those who know no more than he does, and judge only by colours and figures.

--Quite so.

In like manner the poet with his words and phrases may be said to lay on the colours of the several arts, himself understanding their nature only enough to imitate them; and other people, who are as ignorant as he is, and judge only from his words, imagine that if he speaks of cobbling, or of military tactics, or of anything else, in metre and harmony and rhythm, he speaks very well --such is the sweet influence which melody and rhythm by nature have. And I think that you must have observed again and again what a poor appearance the tales of poets make when stripped of the colours which music puts upon them, and recited in simple prose.

Round 3: El poeta apela a las pasiones y no a la razón.
(Traducción cuant: El poeta no tiene una teoría subyacente)

Then the imitative poet who aims at being popular is not by nature made, nor is his art intended, to please or to affect the principle in the soul; but he will prefer the passionate and fitful temper, which is easily imitated?


And now we may fairly take him and place him by the side of the painter, for he is like him in two ways: first, inasmuch as his creations have an inferior degree of truth --in this, I say, he is like him; and he is also like him in being concerned with an inferior part of the soul; and therefore we shall be right in refusing to admit him into a well-ordered State, because he awakens and nourishes and strengthens the feelings and impairs the reason. As in a city when the evil are permitted to have authority and the good are put out of the way, so in the soul of man, as we maintain, the imitative poet implants an evil constitution, for he indulges the irrational nature which has no discernment of greater and less, but thinks the same thing at one time great and at another small-he is a manufacturer of images and is very far removed from the truth.

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