Xurnese arts

Posted by Irgend Jemand on 19:24 12/8/01

In reply to: (none)

You write something like "the Xurnese culture sees the artist as a religious and disciplined person, not as the antisocial substance abuser of our own culture. An artist is expected in his youth to slavishly follow convention, and when he's older to create daring, original works" or something.

Now I see the good effect that this can have in many arts- letting someone prove that he's actually talented for an art before he's allowed to tell everyone his new ideas on how this art should be done. All to many self-appointed "artists" in Western Civilisation today don't have any talent at all and therefore claim that they just wouldn't follow any of those conventions for wich one would need talents and would have invented new innovative styles (wich usually consist of things anyone could do) instead.

But this only works for the craft-like arts. You can tell someone to paint a painting of the marketplace of Inex, or weave and sew a traditional Gotanelian dress, or perform a dance of a certain tradition, to check out his talent to paint, or weave and sew, or dance. But I think this wouldn't work for drama or poetry. When you tell someone to write a story or poem or play according to a certain convention, and he delivers what you wished for perfectly as you wish it, it's at least as likely that he doesn't have any talent or creativity for writing at all but simply copied earlier works.

So how do the Xurnese solve this problem? Perhaps they could have conventions on the general topics of writings, but expect writers (even young ones) to be as creative as possible when it comes to the details. For instance, an ambitious young writer could be told: "Write a love story set in the time whem Axunnai was ruled by the barbarians, and the girl is raped and kidnapped by one of them, and the boy then comes to rescue her, and then they join the founders of Xurno and live happily ever after, but how you let all this happen is your business" or "write a lovely poem about the beauty of the Xurnese landscape, and it should have nice rhymes, but it shouldn't be to much like all the other poems about the beauty of the Xurnese landscape that are allready around."

Also, how's Xurnese-- and, for that matter, Verdurian-- music like? Is it like the classical music of Europe when we were on that technological level? Or like the traditional folk music of whatever place in the world? Or like the music of bands like Elrei?

And, talking of Xurno, how's the X in Xurnese pronounced? First, I naively thought that it was like that in German; since I've heard your recordings of the language, I'm not sure wether it's simply an English z/ German s or wether there's supposed to be a bit of a k before it.

Mark responds:

First, note that there was not (at first) a Salon for stories; so I think we're talking about poetry and opera-- the arts that depend most on language. I think the best answer is just to think back two or five hundred years. Imagine being asked to write a hundred sonnets in the style of Petrarch on the subject of divine vs. courtly love; or an opera in the style of Mozart on the fall of Troy. By modern aesthetics this is only an empty exercise, or a pastiche, or commercial tripe, but in older times it was perfectly respectable. Shakespeare was a great recycler of other people's plots. You would be expected to come up with your own words, but not to come up with your own stories, characters or even themes.

As for Almean music, I am even less of a musician than I am a visual artist. :( My preference would be for it to sound at least as different from European music as Chinese or Arabic music does. Perhaps someday a real musician will be inspired by the Almean materials to come up with something!

Elrei, huh? You've been poking around all over. :) Curiously, none of the players thought to look up the word in the Thematic Dictionary, and so missed a clue about the band! (No, it's not my favorite band, though I do have a few of their albums.)

X is pronounced [z] at the beginning of a word, and with its Axunashin value [ks] elsewhere. (Except in Rajjay and Bozun, where it's [ks] at all times. And in Gotanel, where it's [zh] initially, elsewhere [ksh]...)

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