I feel I am being misrepresented. / by mrm

re: density and vacuousness

"...margaret was saying that the unique value of paintings is in their ability to do what photographs cannot do, in the same way that the unique value of the novel lies in its ability to do what films cannot do."

I think the fault lies with the plural. I did not mean to argue that paintings or novels were better than films or photos, respectively. Nor that some ideas or topics belong to or are even best expressed by any particular form. Rather, I was musing whether the modern value of these seemingly out-dated and old-fashioned art forms, having been surpassed in the pursuit of "realism" (in the popular imagination if not in point of fact), is that through a sort of non-literal interpretation of something (mood, moment, manatee), a different way of seeing things is made manifest. Is this what all good art does? Probably, yes. But the point, the point being that a great novel is essentially a novel, and not a film. That a film adaptation of a great novel will never be able to express the same essence as that novel. (I tip my hat to Milan Kundera's Immortality for addressing this exact question.) And, though it is less often attempted, vice versa. Of course there are excellent photos and mediocre novels. Taken as read. However, a great work seems to me to have something in it that links it, I would suggest inextricably, to its form.