The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #51636 Message #788135
Posted By: Peter T.
20-Sep-02 - 08:57 AM
Thread Name: What's Sentimental and what's Sickening?
Subject: RE: What's Sentimental and what's Sickening?
James Joyce once said that the sentimentalist is someone who indulges in an emotion without having earned it. That is pretty good as a definition: some songs earn their emotion, and the enotional reaction; others just (as was said above) are manipulative or false. That is one reason why the non-sentimentalists are repelled by them: they are asking us to pay emotionally for something the song has not earned. Why should we hand out emotions over to you, you haven't earned the right to make us laugh, or cry, or whatever? But the cost threshhold is lower for some people, nonexistent for others, and sometimes when we are tired or drunk or whatever, our threshhold can drop dramatically!! Some things are right on the edge -- La Boheme can be completely false done wrongly, but done well it is intensely moving. Even a really crappy sentimental song, sung by someone who has earned the right to sing it, can move us -- because the singer has put some of their own earnings (and yearnings) into it. yours, Peter T.