“L’art pour l’art” (translated as “art for art’s sake”) is credited to Theophile Gautier (1811-1872), who was the first to adopt the phrase as a slogan. Gautier was not, however, the first to write those words; they appear in the works of Victor Cousin, Benjamin Constant, and Edgar Allan Poe. For example, Poe argues in his essay, “The Poetic Principle” (1850), that…
We have taken it into our heads that to write a poem simply for the poem’s sake…and to acknowledge such to have been our design, would be to confess ourselves radically wanting in the true poetic dignity and force – but the simple fact is that would we but permit ourselves to look into our own souls we should immediately there discover that under the sun there neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified, more supremely noble, than this very poem, this poem per se, this poem which is a poem and nothing more, this poem written solely for the poem’s sake.
I don’t know about you but I have to remind myself of this – a lot.
It is too easy to get caught up in the making of art when all we should really be concerned with is making art. And, as they say, the rest will follow. That is such a hard thing to do sometimes. To really let loose. To not worry or obsess. To play.
When did we forget how??
So today, in the spirit of playing, (and on my lunch break – ’cause I play responsibly) – I created a paper boat. You know, just like the ones we used to make as kids? Well, like everyone else used to make apparently. I, on the other hand, had no idea how to make one. I’ll admit it. I had to look for instructions on-line. Not kidding. And please don’t ask me how long it took to figure those out! I must have spatial reasoning disorder or something!
Here it is.
My paper boat.
Hey, I play hard for my blog!!
Note the ‘reflection’ in the water!