Colin Lewis wrote:
Of course there are qualifying criteria that apply to literati, as there are for all creative endeavors, but that does not necessarily make them classical. There are qualifying criteria in music, eg: for hip-hop, jazz, country and western - but they are not classical music. There are qualifying criteria in architecture, eg: Dutch colonial, beaux arts, paladian - none of which is classical architecture. And in literature you have the thriller, romance, tragedy and so on, but none is classical literature.
In bonsai qualifying categories exist for root over rock, windswept, driftwood and several other styles (old and new) none of which is classical.
However, it is possible to have classic examples of any or all of the above.
Semantics is what happens to bonsai freaks when the growing season ends.
Thank you Colin for further clarifying your thoughts on this.
For a minute I was worried that we will come to the conclusion here that literati bonsai cannot even be defined. Which would have been a pity, since we all know what the literaty style is about.
So, semantics aside (which is not a bad tool to detect weakness in somone's logic) there is only one question that still remains in my mind: you say that literati should not be considered classical, just like hip-hop or jazz is not - by the way, tragedy is
part of classical literature, see the works of Euripides, Sophocles, etc.
Since the Literati form exist from the dawn of bonsai - i.e. it is as time-honored as bonsai can get - what is the offence for which it is excluded from the respected group of so-called classicals? Since most of us agree that there are principles, or qualifying criteria applicable to it, it is not as "free form" as one pleases. It has its constraints, although not always obvious in the minds of many.
I wish there was a known, or published body of work from a recognized authority on classical bonsai, where we could at least get an indication as to the place of literati bonsai in the context of what is considered classical. Otherwise, I suspect that the issue remains a hotly contested one, with no definitive answer.