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In general, the impossible must be justified by

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In general, the impossible must be justified by  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2014, 04:00
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In general, the impossible must be justified by reference to artistic requirements, or to the higher reality, or to received opinion. With respect to the requirements of art, a probable impossibility is to be preferred to a thing improbable and yet possible. And by extrapolation, it goes without saying that the improbable impossibility makes for a not too enticing option while the probable possibility will not even be discussed here as it, by its very nature, tends towards the mundane.

The poet being an imitator, like a painter or any other artist, must of necessity imitate one of three objects – things as they were or are, in the past – be it ancient or near – and in the present – as he observes those things around him or those things that are observed by others contemporary to him; things as they are said or thought to be, be they products of philosophical discourse, a study in divinity, or the mythos of a people; or things as they ought to be as often expressed in laments for the state of affairs in a society. The vehicle of expression is language – either current terms or, it may be, rare words or metaphors. There are also many modifications of language which we concede to the poets. Add to this that the standard of correctness is not the same in poetry and politics, any more than in poetry and any other art.

Within the art of poetry itself there are two kinds of faults – those which touch its essence, and those which are of the cause of a lack of advertence. If a poet has chosen to imitate something, but has fallen short through want of capacity, the error is inherent in the poetry. But if the failure is due to a wrong choice – if he has represented a horse as throwing out both his off legs at once, or introduces technical inaccuracies in medicine, for example, or in any other art – the error is not essential to the poetry. These are the points of view from which we should consider and answer the objections raised by the critics.

As to matters which concern the poet‘s own art. If he describes the impossible, he is guilty of an error; but the error may be justified, if the end of the art be thereby attained – if, that is, the effect of this or any other part of the poem is thus rendered more striking. If, however, the end might have been as well, or better, attained without violating the special rules of the poetic art, the error is not justified, for every kind of error should, if possible, be avoided. Again, does the error touch the essentials of the poetic art, or some accident of it? For example, not to know that a hind has no horns is a less serious matter than to paint it inartistically.

Further, if it be objected that the description is not true to fact, the poet may perhaps reply – ―But the objects are as they ought to be‖: just as Sophocles said that he drew men as they ought to be; Euripides, as they are. In this way the objection may be met. If, however, the representation is of neither kind, the poet may answer – ―This is how men say the thing is.‖ This applies to tales about the gods. It may well be that these stories are not higher than fact nor yet true to fact. But anyhow, ―this is what is said.‖ Again, a description may be no better than the fact.
1. Assuming that the poet‘s artistic goals are achieved, the passage implies that
which of the following would NOT be an example of a justifiable error?
A. Describing a lioness as a hunter in a metaphor for the behaviour of
predatory government officials
B. Using awkward language to create an analogy between a ruler‘s hand
as a symbol of authority and a city‘s capitol as a symbol of power
C. Creating anachronistic errors by mentioning inappropriate historical or
contemporary events
D. Representing human characters as improbably courageous or strong
E. Comparing soldiers with ancient Greek warriors who could not be killed

OA -



2. The author brings up the ancient Greek poets Sophocles and Euripides to
make a point within the passage. According to the information cited in the
passage, they differ from each other in that:
A. Euripides‘ characters provide ideal models of human behaviour.
B. Sophocles portrays people as common public opinion supposed them
to be.
C. the characters in Sophocles‘ work are meant to inspire improved
human behaviour and actions.
D. humans are unfavourably described by Euripides in order to show
detrimental behaviour to avoid.
E. one of them makes a much greater use of metaphors than the other

OA -



3. The author‘s argument that the poet is ―an imitator, like a painter or any
other artist‖ suggests that the author would be most likely to agree with
which of the following statements?
A. Different types of creative or aesthetic talent have different means of
representation.
B. Creating text and chiselling marble are similar forms of representation.
C. The visual arts are superior to the rhetorical arts.
D. The forms of imitation found in poetry are inefficient.
E. Painting is easier than writing poems

OA -



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Re: In general, the impossible must be justified by  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2014, 05:26
Thanks for sharing!

Get stucked on the last question! Hard text!
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Re: In general, the impossible must be justified by  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2015, 21:34
Can any one explain the answer to the first question ?? Couldn't fathom the answer
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Re: In general, the impossible must be justified by  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2015, 11:11
1
The errors (in poems) are justifiable if "rendered more striking" and factual errors are justified. (as mentioned in para 4).

We need an answer choice that doesn't meet both the aforementioned points. Option B (barring other options) - mentions an example of an inherent error (awkward language) not creating the striking effect.

Hope this helps.
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Re: In general, the impossible must be justified by  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2015, 04:04
Please explain why A is not the answer to Q3
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Re: In general, the impossible must be justified by  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2015, 18:31
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very tough text. could not understand even the basic point :cry:
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Re: In general, the impossible must be justified by  [#permalink]

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Re: In general, the impossible must be justified by &nbs [#permalink] 12 Aug 2018, 10:09
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