Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque

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The nine arts

(This is probably old hat to the real comics nuts out there, but it was new to me.)

As part of a discussion on a mailing list I'm on, I started pondering the question of, "If comics are the ninth art, what are the other eight?"

Finding the list took a little effort but wasn't too difficult, but it took a bit more to track down who actually compiled the list and how the list is to be interpreted. (It seems that most websites on the topic are in French or Italian, and Romance languages aren't exactly my forte.) The first seven were assigned by French film theorist Ricciotto Canudo between 1911 and 1923, with the final two assigned by French film expert Claude Beylie in 1964. My comments are in italics

1. Architecture (the only one of these arts that helps fill a fundamental need for all living things: shelter)
2. Music (the art of sound)
3. Painting (apparently including drawing, collage, and other 2-D visual arts)
4. Sculpture (3-D visual arts, except for architecture; given architects like Gehry, I think I'd combine Architecture with Sculpture)
5. Poetry (apparently including all word-based arts)
6. Dance (the art of movement)
7. Cinema (apparently including theatre, though I would have reversed that and made Theatre the art)
8. Television (people like to argue with this choice, preferring to lump it in with "cinema")
9. Comics/sequential art (combination of "poetry" and "painting" that is simultaneously both & neither)

So given what it does and doesn't include, that's not the most helpful list out there--it's about as simultaneously uncomprehensive and overly specific as the Classical Greek list of nine muses (epic poetry, history, lyric/love poetry, music, tragedy, comedy, sacred poetry/hymns, dance, astronomy/astrology).

I also found a reference to recent calls for the World Wide Web to be added as the Tenth Art. You know, given the nature of the rest of that list, I think they just might be right.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: french, nine arts

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