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Author Antics The Art of Life

“At first, art imitates life. Then life will imitate art. Then life will find its very existence from the arts.”  ~Fyodor Dostoevsky


I should hesitate when the urge overtakes me to disagree with great minds—like Dostoevsky. I seldom do. In all honesty, I love his statement about art and life, and to a degree, I agree that life will be drawn from the arts. However, if modern life is any indication, the end product is that life supplants the arts.

What need is there for a fiction writer or his stories when life itself is fiction? Of course, there are those who have always believed life is a fictional work of imagination, the product of neurochemical reactions and nothing more. Likewise, since ancient times, there have been those who believe life is the inner energy and what appears beyond that is, if not fiction, then an illusion or immaterial.

To produce much of my writing, I look at what is and think “what if” it was other than it seems. I then invite those willing to read to explore the possibilities of that “what if” scenario. The key is that the reader is a willing participant who acknowledges it’s all in my head and the physical world is untouched.

When life draws existence from the arts, a person might look at themselves, imagine they are not what they seem and proclaim reality a fraud. However, because this is life, and no longer art, all living creatures are expected to participate in the fantasy and alter the world to fit it. Reality loses its anchor, and we drift on each person’s imagination. When that happens, all meaningful communication is lost. The art of writing—all art dies.

When art dies, we are left trapped in the world of the sociopath. In that world, oneself is the only real person, deciding reality and morality, life and death. To such a person, everyone and everything is disposable and exists only to serve the self.

We are standing on the brink and peering over the precipice at the death of true art. Culture and society now think for us. Computer programs paint and speak for us. Yet we are without fear at the prospect of losing our humanity and the art that springs from it.

Jack LaFountain

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