Laughter and Art

The following passage from a book titled “Immortality”, written by a Czech author I admire greatly, gave me some pause and I have been thinking an analyzing this for days until an engaging discussion on the difficulties of writing when ecstatic appeared on Ryze.

“A face is beautiful because it reveals the presence of thought, whereas at the moment of laughter man does not think. But is that really true? Is not laughter a lightning thought that has just grasped the comical? No, in the instant that he grasps the comical, man does not laugh; laughter follows afterward as a physical reaction, as a convulsion, no longer containing any thought. Laughter is a convulsion of the face, and a convulsed person does not rule himself, he is ruled by something that is neither will nor reason. And that is why the classical sculptor did not express laughter. A human being who does not rule himself (a human being beyond reason, beyond will) cannot be considered beautiful”.

Could this be true? Is this the reason we cannot create magic with words, with colors, with clay or stone in those cyclical periods of ecstatic joy, or in those fleeting moments where we are probably so “convulsed with laughter” that all rational thought has left us?

Our muse deserts us and forces us to choose between joyful creative impotency and melancholic fecundity!

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