Thesis

"Suggestive magic"

“To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything." Anatole France. When first I read those words, they aroused a responsive recognition. It was as though they were my own words. Imagining had drawn me to all my favorite things: music, dance, theatre, color, painting, drawing, folklore, mysticism, fantasy. "Knowing" and learning were intriguing; but there was exhilaration in the imagining. Charles Baudelaire defined the modern conception of art as "... creation of a suggestive magic ... the world outside the artist and the artist himself. Without this is man much different from other orders of creatures? The methods of utilizing the imaginings are varied. The scientist uses his imagination to unleash the atom, then uses it in new and useful fashions; the designer creates a more comfortable chair with his. A playwright or an artist may attempt to lead me into an unreal world, a fantasyland. I follow. I want to believe ... not to escape this world, but to enhance it. I am the willing audience for the magician or the mime. He thrills me~ makes me see the unseen; he convinces me there is magic and it has a reality. I would be like him. Like the mime, the sorcerer, the seer, I would like to create or interpret a bit of magic an ‘other-world’ of my own to share. High-flown ambitions ... not so easily achieved ... this sleight-of hand work. That just-right empathic vein is frustratingly like quick-silver to control. The actor who inadvertently touches the “stone wall” causes a ripple in the canvas flat - thereby destroying my belief in the reality of the “ castle.” I am returned to the actual harshly and With regret. Participation in the fantasy is interrupted. Re-entry is difficult. See more in text.

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