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Title Power of "negative" thinking, The: the grotesque in the modern world
Subject Grotesque
Description The 45th Annual Frederick William Reynolds Lecture.
Creator Helbling, Robert E.
Publisher Frederick William Reynolds Association
Date 1982-11-30
Date Digital 2008-05-29
Type Text
Format image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications Original scanned on Epson Expression 10000XL flatbed scanner and saved as 400 ppi uncompressed tiff. Display images generated in PhotoshopCS and uploaded into CONTENTdm Aquisition Station.
Resource Identifier http://content.lib.utah.edu/u?/reynolds,768
Source BH301.G74 H44 1982
Language eng
Relation Digital reproduction of "The Power of "negative" thinking," J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections
Rights Digital Image Copyright University of Utah
Metadata Cataloger Seungkeol Choe; Ken Rockwell
ARK ark:/87278/s6ks6pjf
Setname uu_fwrl
Date Created 2008-07-29
Date Modified 2008-08-04
ID 320034
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6ks6pjf

Page Metadata

Title Page 3
Description THE POWER OF "NEGATIVE" THINKING 3 the hiding places of the world spirit, suggests that in grotesque distortions the supernatural appears in the guise of the wwnatural.2 When transplanted to the north, gortesques became more ominous in tone but they were still rather restrained when compared with the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and the two Pieter Brueghels, which clearly no longer serve mere decorative purposes. Their canvasses are often terrifying landscapes of anxieties, hallucinatory visions replete with infernal creatures composed of disparate elements, which make us shrink back in horror, though at times their incongruous shapes may elicit an amused chuckle. In fact, Brueghel the Elder's paintings of the disquieting elements in human language - a series of visual portrayals of proverbs depicting a topsy-turvy world, both sinister and comical - suggest the lurking presence of satanic laughter on the satiric fringes of the grotesque. Even just a cursory look at these early modern expressions of a tangled world view suggests a number of things: the birthplace of the grotesque is located in the visual arts; the grotesque ambiance ensues from a blatant distortion of the familiar, defying our common notions of reason or causality; though an aesthetic phenomenon, the grotesque may have psychological roots in oneiric forces erupting in our mental life, which often appear both daemonic and ridiculous. Faced with such an array of ingredients, the baffled critic asks himself how he can ever brew them into a palatable stew. To find heuristic principles of analysis he may alternately focus attention on: (a) the inherent formal elements in a work of art or literature; (b) the aesthetic and emotional impact on the viewer or reader; (c) perhaps the strange idiosyncracies in the artist's creative process that symbioti-cally resonate in his audience. It becomes immediately apparent that formal elements in the work of art (a, above) have something to do with emotions aroused in the onlooker (b). Certain types of distortions or incongruities may indeed have a patent effect on us: for instance an inversion of known functions as in airplanes portrayed as dragonflies, tanks rooting around in a landscape like prehistoric monsters, or puppets behaving like humans and humans like mechanical dolls. These are of course matters of intentional artistic mystification. Conversely, there may be things that are felt to be inherently "grotesque," causing archaic fears in us, such as snakes and skulls, or the tangled vegetation and teeming life of a jungle. Monkeys are said to have an instinctive fear of snakes and skulls - something else we may have in common with them. j
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 006-RNLT- helblingR_ Page 3.jpg
Source Original Manuscript: The power of "negative" thinking : the grotesque in the modern world by Robert E. Helbling.
Setname uu_fwrl
Date Created 2008-07-29
Date Modified 2008-07-29
ID 320008
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6ks6pjf/320008