Letter: Pleasure without pain

January 25, 2002

The view expressed in "Stuck through with spears and smiling" (Books, THES , January 4) is not correct about the human appreciation of a work of art.

Any good artist tries to express the emotions - whether pity or fear - impersonally.

They do this by changing the nature and background of characters in the work. In other words, they universalise the emotions depicted by eliminating the personal. That is why we - the readers of any age, country or religion - can appreciate a particular work of art with an aesthetic sense and through which we get pure pleasure instead of agony or fear.

As Immanuel Kant said: "Real art creates only disinterested passion."

P. R. Harikumar
Kerala State India

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