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It’s Been Said Before by Andrea Nicole C. Farol | art by Cedric Lance M. Militar


lready. A most common word, but one that connotes something done. In the existence of this word, man accepts that there are things that he will only just know or want or will do that already has occurred. This brings to mind, in the light of plagiarism issues and accusations in the government, academe, business and art, one might wonder, what exactly is original? Ages before, man had already recognized that he is a follower. Be it in the concept of religion, tradition or specifically, art. Famous philosophers Plato and Aristotle delved in the ancient critical and philosophical concept that is Mimesis. Both believed that art was perfection and imitation of nature. And perhaps it is true. Art is defined as “a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author’s imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power”. To a small child, art would be drawing his/her family, his favorite cartoon character, a flower or anything that comes to mind. To a seasoned artist, it could be a creative imagery of as simple as a can of beans. And as we can see, art is the imitation of what we experience. Symmetry is originally seen in nature as evidenced by the Golden Ratio. And what did artists do in eras such as the Renaissance? They strived to produce the most perfect of creations known to man, as proved by Leonardo da Vinci’s works. The famous artist was influenced by the desire to exude the beauty of the human body. But in literature, the idea of mimicry is much more complicated as words can hold too many meanings and be twisted to one’s delight. What one feels and what we have been able or want to experience are what we put into words. And 8


human as we are, despite the multitude of differences we have to live with, we come together, not absolutely all but a pair or cluster, maybe, in a single point. Consider mythology and religious books. Both contain common themes, stories that give the same moral lessons, the same story structure and same build of some featured characters. Yet, these were put into writing by different people living distantly from each other. One might then conclude, that the idea of imitation in literature is due to the fact that the human way of experiencing things can transcend beyond cultures, literacy, technology and beliefs. The odds might be too low for a young man living in an untouched tribe in a remote place could pen a novel as one a millennial living in the suburbs can produce but their experience may run parallel with each other. Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis, a masterpiece of literary criticism, delves into various works of Western writers as they represented everyday life in their own respective periods, influenced by the social conventions and mindset of the times. It begs to make one wonder, why exactly does man delight in taking something real and portraying it, through different mediums, as realistic as possible? Why is it so enjoyable to see works which are slices of life? Is it because we can’t help but imitate reality? The inevitability of mimicry in literature could also lie in the test of time. As humans evolved and simple civilizations grew into megacities, the increasing complexity of things were mirrored in the complexity of how they were presented in writing. A 16th century scientist’s big achievement could be discovering gravity or a new element while now, discoveries involve complicated research on more difficult areas like in the subatomic level. Taking that thought into literature, when one wakes up to find that all these

Joust Volume 1  
Joust Volume 1