Belletristic Essay Research Paper The Belletristic ApproachAnd

Belletristic Essay, Research Paper

The Belletristic Approach

And How It Is Used

Like all forms of art, golf is able to be evaluated from a belletristic approach. Golf

is a true art form in the fact that each individual has his or her own style. Although each

person has their own style, there is a text book way in which everyone attempts to swing

the club. Experts on the sport critique it and tell the audience what should of been done to

make a perfect shot, however none thus far have critiqued it from a belletristic approach.

I would like to critique golf using this approach and focus on the key components by using

Tiger Woods as my primary example.

First of all, I would like to discuss what the belletristic approach is and how it has

been used in the past. The belletristic movement begun in the late 1600?s. The belletristic

scholars incorporated many of its ideals from various ancients and modernists. ?From

Aristotle they derived a communication model comprised of source, message, and

receiver; an understanding of ethical, logical, and pathetic proof; a recognition of the

effect of the occasion on a speaker?s choice of material and development of themes; and

an appreciation for perspicuity in style?(Golden 75). The belletristic scholars also used

Cicero and Quintilians ideal?s that there are five arts (invention, disposition, style,

memory, and delivery) which make up rhetoric. ?Finally, from Longinus they learned the

value of combining rhetoric and poetics into a single, coherent system; and the meaning

and significance of taste and sublimity? (Golden 75).

Now that we have discussed the general background on how the belletristic

approach came about, I would like to introduce Hugh Blair. Hugh Blair is the one who

helped develop the belletristic approach. Blair was one of the first modern writers to use

rhetoric as a form of criticism. So he would not limit himself, Blair was part neoclassicist,

part rationalist, part epistemologist, and part romanticist. Taste was an important concept

that Blair believed would influence the direction of rhetoric. Blair defined taste as ?the

power of receiving pleasure from the beauties of nature or art?(Golden 81). Blair said you

can tell if something is of high taste because of the pleasure it will evoke. Blair also says

?Taste like the body responds to exercise. You can improve your sense of taste as an

audience through exercise. To improve your taste, go experience the best version of the

art form that you can? (Golden 81).

Taking Blair?s advice on taste, I went and watched the best player in golf, Tiger

Woods. Like in any form of art or sport, if you have practiced hard enough and are self

disciplined you will succeed, and this is exactly what Tiger has done. ?By the age of two

the boy could look at a grown man?s swing and understand it (?look, Daddy,? he would

say, ?that man has a reverse pivot!?); that by three he was beating 10-year olds; that by

five he was signing autographs (because he couldn?t write script, he printed his name in

block letters); that by six he?d already had two holes in one? (Garrity 39). This experience

has lead him to be one of the most fun golfers to watch play the sport. This experience

has also evoked a pleasure in the audience when watching him play. According to the

belletristic approach this pleasure is due to watching the best version of the art. Being a

weekend golfer, not only can I appreciate Tiger?s skills from this standpoint, but I also can

appreciate them from his performance against other professionals. I now can understand

what Blair is saying when he says ?taste responds to exercise.? Prior to watching Tiger

play golf my standards for the professional golfer were completely different and the game

itself did not evoke near as much pleasure as it does now. Blair says that taste comes

from sublime. ?Sublime is a power that comes by beauty or from beauty, usually talking

about a natural phenomenon? (Dr. Williams 3-7). ?Sublime is the power that comes from

the beauty of discourse? (Dr. Williams 3-7). This is exactly what came about when his

mother who?s half Thai, a quarter Chinese, and a quarter white had a child with his father

who?s quarter American Indian, a quarter Chinese and half black. Tiger Woods is a

phenomenon in the fact that his golf game had developed so early in his life, leading him to

be the best to play the game.

Hugh Blair also said that one?s style should be looked at when critiquing someone

from a belletristic approach. Hugh defines style as ?perspicuity is the greatest quality of

style, meaning nothing in the message obscures its meaning, absolutely pure. Style is so

good and clear that you can understand what it is talking about? (Dr. Williams 3-7).

There are two aspects of Tiger Woods that I relate to when critiquing his style. First of

all, I look at his golf swing and his performance on the course. He has the strongest and

most fundamentally sound golf swing on the tour and when combined with his frame of

mind he becomes the most dominant player on the tour. Tiger?s style was helped

developed by his father, Earl, who had served in Vietnam and understood the importance

of self discipline. Earl would hold ?debriefings? with Tiger after tournaments. Earl

wanted Tiger to develop ?a coldness? in his attitude, it was this that helped Earl get

through Vietnam. This coldness was an intense concentration on whatever Tiger was

doing. ?Once at a tournament a marshal?s walkie-talkie went off at volume 10 out of 10

during Tiger?s backswing. Tiger admitted later that he never heard it? (Scott 50). This is

the clarity that Tiger beholds in his mind on the course, which creates a unique style.

As a spectator, I can certainly see the amount of focus Tiger holds. He has won

seven out of the last nine tournaments he has played in and is known for his comeback

abilities. I have a great amount of respect for him when critiquing his style because of his

ability to maintain focus and performance during clutch situations. When critiquing taste,

Tiger evokes much pleasure throughout the nation considering the TV ratings for last the

tournament dominated its competition. Tiger?s competition on TV was the Los Angeles

Lakers against the Sacramento Kings (two big market NBA teams). Hugh Blair

introduced an interesting perspective on critiquing any form of art. Critiquing the game of

golf from a belletristic approach has been an enjoyable experience.


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