Leo Tolstoy, go castanet yourself

I hate discussions about what is or is not the real, true, great Art.
Because this is the topic that makes even great minds curl up and shrivel.

Leo Tolstoy despised dancing. He had his logical reasons, but deep down, I think he’d lived through a dance invitation rejection trauma when he was a young officer. No wonder he made Vronsky the bad guy (even though bad without intention to be bad) in Anna Karenina.

Immanuel Kant hated music. Because he lived next to a jail and couldn’t sleep when the prisoners were singing. They loved chorus singing, perhaps, for the absence of anything else to do. But Kant was thinking about the definition of good and bad Art, and shouldn’t be distracted!

My sister decided to sign up for a Spanish dancing course and last Saturday I went to see her show at a cafe rented for this purpose by the dance school. Music, dancing, bad food, relatives of the dancers, with all their cousins five times removed,  everyone tormenting their cameras and phones until the batteries start convulsing. That could be low art, or no art at all in the eyes of great minds, but people enjoyed it so much, even Kant would change his attitude, were he present.

Leo Tolstoy & Sophia Tostaya, 1906

Logically, stomping and castaneting as leisure activity (miles away from Spain, at minus 20 C outside) is dumb. Emotionally, it’s great. I’ve been there, seen that, and even tried to imagine Leo Tolstoy dancing, dressed as a Spaniard.

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