Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! 9.2分
读书笔记 But Is It Art?
We often had long discussions about art and science. I’d say things like, “Artists are lost: they don’t have any subject! They used to have the religious subjects, but they lost their religion and now they haven’t got anything. They don’t understand the technical world they live in; they don’t know anything about the beauty of the real world—the scientific world—so they don’t have anything in their hearts to paint.” Jerry would reply that artists don’t need to have a physical subject; there are many emotions that can be expressed through art. Besides, art can be abstract. Furthermore, scientists destroy the beauty of nature when they pick it apart and turn it into mathematical equations.


I wanted very much to learn to draw, for a reason that I kept to myself: I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world. It’s difficult to describe because it’s an emotion. It’s analogous to the feeling one has in religion that has to do with a god that controls everything in the whole universe: there’s a generality aspect that you feel when you think about how things that appear so different and behave so differently are all run “behind the scenes” by the same organization, the same physical laws. It’s an appreciation of the mathematical beauty of nature, of how she works inside; a realization that the phenomena we see result from the complexity of the inner workings between atoms; a feeling of how dramatic and wonderful it is. It’s a feeling of awe—of scientific awe—which I felt could be communicated through a drawing to someone who had also had this emotion. It could remind him, for a moment, of this feeling about the glories of the universe.


What I got out of that story was something still very new to me: I understood at last what art is really for, at least in certain respects. It gives somebody, individually, pleasure. You can make something that somebody likes so much that they’re depressed, or they’re happy, on account of that damn thing you made! In science, it’s sort of general and large: You don’t know the individuals who have appreciated it directly.
I’ve done a lot of drawing by now, and I’ve gotten so I like to draw nudes best. For all I know it’s not art, exactly; it’s a mixture. Who knows the percentages?


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