Sunday, September 13, 2009

What is Art For?

“O village songs,
You kinship bridge between generations!
Nation hides in you
Its threads of destiny,
And its arms of victory.
O village songs,
O guardian of memories.”

Adam Mickiewicz

I was just a teenage and he was tall and old and he chose one day to sit next to me and I felt so happy for that. He asked me: “what book are you reading these days?” I liked that kind of question. I opened my mouth proudly to say: “a Russian novel of… (I forgot the writer) entitled the white dog with the black ear”. I was surprised by his sarcastic smile which was turned a little by little into a sardonic smile and he told me with anger that I should read something worthy!!
During my life, I have faced recurrently the question of why do I read novels, and why do I hear music. What is art, in general, is for. And what do I gain from it.

Have seen the film “the pianist”? How the Nazis occupied Poland and what they did to the Jewish population there in World War II? That was the main theme of the film, but what was in between the lines? What was the soul of the film?

Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish pianist survived till a Nazi soldier found him wandering in aplace he should not be. Clearly, the fate of the pianist was to be killed. A question slipped from the lips of the Nazi like a slow black serpent about to kill:

- Who are you?
- I was a pianist.
- Play something, the Nazi said challenging.

Szpilman answered him by Chopin’s Ballad no. one. It is music. A human thing. It is why animals feel small next to human. It is beauty mixed with smartness, wisdom mixed with childhood. It is communication travels through space and time summarizing our history into a sweet song. It is why animals feel small next us, it was why the Nazi felt small next to Szpilman:

- What will you do when it is all over? Asked the Nazi.
- I’ll play the piano again. On the Polish radio.

So what do we gain from art. We gain our dignity. We tell our story. We share existance. We pass by the reason of why we are humans, and what we are doing here, on this earth.

Photos taken from the film, music is Chopin's Grande Polonais Op. 22 which was played in the film in two scenes. Mickiewicz is a Polish poet and the lines above were tranlated by Kudri Kalachi to Arabic, and by me, to english cause I didn't found it in English and I don't know the name of the peom these lines taken from, so pardon me.


Sandybelle said...

Its another beautiful post.

mmmm, I have not watched this movie yet, and I know no certain things about the second world war, so , pardon me. ;)

Art, art is something so great, to sing, play a tone, act, and even writing, writing has very great ways i see belong to Art!
Everybody has a way in expressing, Art gathers them all.
Art was found when the humanity itself was found too, two belong to each other, two are the reason of everything..

Thank so much.. You teach me!

saminkie said...

Hi Sandybelle, i don't know much of world war since we, Iraqis, had many wars and they were very much enough. If we are clever enough, we can learn a lesson from almost everything. A lesson of energy from a bee, a lesson of patience from a camel, a lesson of beauty from a flower, and a lesson of kindness from you Sandybelle. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sami...
I loved this film very much , once i've seen the film, I appreciate the meaning of the word "Acting"
and i started to search about Mr. Arian Brody's works .
One scene in the film i would never forget , when the officer found Brody at the Attic of the old house , and what a powerful reaction , Brody's did....
It's really amazing...
But i felt that the film contains oversympathy to jewesh people , and what did they face , if that was really true.

Thanks to remind me about the film.
Hassan S. Al-Gharbawi

saminkie said...

Hello Hassan. I don't know about the world war II and whether if it was really, exactly, like how they show it in the film or not, but Hassan the film after all was about to raise the awarness of something, and raising questions and a motive to search and to change and the film is a success in that point. Regarding the roughness and the Nazi, in psychiatry we know about the killing of the mentally ill in that period in what is called as operation T4 as far as i remember its name. It was not strange for the Nazi to be such unhuman. We read in psychiatry that Hitler was an Amphetamine abuser, and had Trichotillomania.
When i see such a film i usualy think of how many films or any other Art works that we can made to talk about Iraq. And what their effect would be. They would bring respect and empathy with us. This by it self would prevent a young man from coming from abroad to explode himself in the centre of Baghdad.

So Hassan, my view is that, defending and raising our nation is not through military forces only, but Art got something about that also.

Thank you for your care,


tracy said...

Thank you, Sami, for a lovely and thoughtful post. i wanted to say Hello and Happy Eid to you.

Be well,

saminkie said...

Hi Tracy dear friend. Thank you for your nice words. I miss you so much my dear. Tace care and may all your days be Eid for you cause you deserve it.

Be well,


tracy said...

Dear Sami,
You have no idea how much i needed your kind words today. Thank you so much. i have missed you very much too.

ShaMma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ShaMma said...

dear sami ... ur blog made this wednsday gr8 day..m keeping readig ur posts since 2 oclock they r gr8 really 4me don not know about the movie niether ((I guess)) the second world war cuz we all need to read History written by some one living in the moon eternally n record the events out of the scope of policy n realigion .. anyway sami I blv that everything written with the soul is sake of it so art,poetry,music r the mirror of our soul & their food ,,I was listening to michel Jackson U r not alone then HERO by maraia which i consider them hloy cuz they do make a diffrence this is why we should listen,write,n paint to keep Humanity on earth
proud to read ur posts..