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What Is Sentimental?

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/01/2013 - 9:39 PM

In the spirit of the season I would like to examine sentimentality, it is another highly charged concept that is gaining new meaning in recent years. It is pervasive in art, advertising, relationships and entertainment.
What comes to mind when you hear that someone or thing is sentimental?

 

Oldest Reply

Posted by: Janine Riley on 02/01/2013 - 9:42 PM

Well, now " emotionally promiscuous" comes to mind. Lol

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/01/2013 - 9:46 PM

Good to know you've been reading my quotes ... thanks Janine..

 

Posted by: Janine Riley on 02/01/2013 - 9:55 PM

I had to choke on that Mailer quote Re; sentimentality - after I stated that I was not romantic - but sentimental, in the prior thread.

Oh well, it's under the Artistic license - right to be flaky

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/01/2013 - 10:02 PM

Yes I was holding onto this one since you said it...lol

 

Posted by: Penny M on 02/01/2013 - 10:56 PM

 

Posted by: Sheena Pike on 02/01/2013 - 11:06 PM

Hmmmm. This one is harder for me. What do you think is this "sentimental" art or simply a moment of emotional weakness on my part.
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Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/01/2013 - 11:54 PM

I like it...

 

Posted by: Victoria Lakes on 02/02/2013 - 12:02 AM

Love letters, photo albums, keepsakes, list goes on :) These days... text messages from a lover and Instagram photos I guess... lol

 

Posted by: Maria Disley on 02/02/2013 - 2:15 AM

Watered down version of romantic. Can make me cry easily but forget it just as easily...i think. Like a chick flick. an old song. an old photo, or saying, seeing someone in the street who reminds you of someone you knew, a revisited place...that kind of thing.

 

Posted by: Gregory Scott on 02/02/2013 - 3:51 AM

Not really romantic, since it does not need to include the notion of romance/eros. Sentimental can include other dimensions, such as nostalgia, or the "rose colored glasses" of a strong positive bias, or missing anything that you formerly enjoyed in the past.

sen·ti·men·tal
/ˌsentəˈmentl/
Adjective

Of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia: "she felt a sentimental attachment to the place creep over her".
(of a work of literature, music, or art) Dealing with feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia in an exaggerated and self-indulgent...

Synonyms
maudlin - mushy - emotional - sensitive

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/02/2013 - 10:21 AM

A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it. We think we can have our emotions for nothing. We cannot. Even the finest and most self-sacrificing emotions have to be paid for. Strangely enough, that is what makes them fine. The intellectual and emotional life of ordinary people is a very contemptible affair. Just as they borrow their ideas from a sort of circulating library of thought—the Zeitgeist of an age that has no soul—and send them back soiled at the end of each week, so they always try to get their emotions on credit, and refuse to pay the bill when it comes in. You should pass out of that conception of life. As soon as you have to pay for an emotion you will know its quality, and be the better for such knowledge. And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism.
Oscar Wilde

 

Posted by: Karen Newell on 02/02/2013 - 10:40 AM

A Romantic lives each moment with certain ideals. Being sentimental is a feeling triggered by attachment, usually to past emotion. I find overly sentimental people have a tendency for depression, while Romantics are optimistic.

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/02/2013 - 11:05 AM

I loath sentimentality in the media and art..like object relationship.. you can always get a laugh out of a dirty joke from a school kid....nostalgia is a symptom of depression ... romantics can get melancholy ...

 

Posted by: Andrew Pacheco on 02/02/2013 - 11:16 AM

To me, being sentimental is a more emotionally attached version of being nostalgic. I agree with what Karen said about being sentimental and how it's triggered by attachment.

 

Posted by: Janine Riley on 02/02/2013 - 11:34 AM

Romance worthy, but sentimentality not ?

I find so much more worth in a "magic" rock that a 3 yr old has gifted me with - than a dozen roses for Valentines day that cost a small fortune, when that $ could have been used to spend on a shared life experience making more memories..

Maybe that makes me more of a "romantic"..........


 

Posted by: Janice Drew on 02/02/2013 - 11:34 AM

Man, oh Man! "nostalgia is a symptom of depression ... romantics can get melancholy ..." Robert, with all due respect. I am sentimental and have NEVER been depressed or leaned towards depression in my life. While this may be true for some, you cannot pigeonhole people.

For me, being sentimental is keeping my memories close to my heart. (edited)

I live in my childhood home...have for 55 years now. This house was remodeled by my father and stepfather. My mother LOVED and was happy in this old home. When the state took the property by eminent domain to build yet another highway off ramp in the late 50s, my mother, a widow at 33 with three young children, moved this house to its current location. I LOVE this old home.

Every room is filled with memories. My children's rooms remain their bedrooms. My room became my daughter's room and will eventually become her oldest daughter's. Every wall is covered with artwork with stories to tell. Outside, trees were planted with our names. My youngest brother's tree is in the front yard. It's now 48 years old. As long as I breathe, that tree will stand unless nature says otherwise. The wishing well my stepfather built serves as a planter. The stone wall with dirt in the middle also serves as a place for me to plant marigolds (his favorite) to honor my stepfather every summer. The shed, where I played as a child, although remodeled, still stands.

I still have my first doll, my one and only doll from my childhood. It was given to me the Christmas when I was eight years old. It was my father's last Christmas. I have a stocking doll I made from my bobby socks that was to rest with my father. My aunt never followed through with my wishes and returned it to me when I turned 21 and married. I treasure it. I have my parents old scrapbooks, documents, and photos which give me a sense of their lives. I could go on and on and on.

Yes, I am sentimental, nostalgic, happy, and not depressed. I feel I have been blessed in this lifetime.

 

Posted by: Janice Drew on 02/02/2013 - 11:37 AM

Janine wrote: "I find so much more worth in a "magic" rock that a 3 yr old has gifted me with - than a dozen roses for Valentines day that cost a small fortune, when that $ could have been used to spend on a shared life experience making more memories."

Total agreement, Janine. As I type, I'm staring at a purple pet rock that has a home on my desk. My daughter gave me this rock when she was in grade school. She is now 36 years old.

 

Posted by: Sheena Pike on 02/02/2013 - 12:59 PM

I second that WELL said Janine....as always .

 

Posted by: Sydne Archambault on 02/02/2013 - 1:49 PM

Isn't being sentimental indulging into the past?

 

Posted by: Janine Riley on 02/02/2013 - 1:54 PM

Thanx m'ladies !

But we are "the nesters", so we would feel quite differerantly than what most men would feel comfortable with.

 

Posted by: Janine Riley on 02/02/2013 - 2:12 PM

& I got that purple rock too Janice !

 

Posted by: Janice Drew on 02/02/2013 - 2:19 PM

Sydne, you can embrace the past, carry on in the present, and still look to the future.

Traditions continue by remembering the past, or sometimes, the simpliest of gestures makes us smile by taking us back into our past. My mother would sometimes sit in her chair with her index finger on her face and thumb beneath her chin as if she were holding up her face. Sometimes I find myself doing the same. It makes me smile.

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/02/2013 - 5:19 PM

I'm so happy I got the juice pumping in this discussion but, there maybe some misunderstanding here in your own personal definition of what sentimental is to you... sentimentality is an over simplification of real emotion.Like cute pictures of pussy cats that make you go ahhh yet you see a homeless person in the street and go yuch..You want feeling without having to pay a price for them.....gifts have nothing to do with this. when I say a romantic I don't mean romance, as a matter of fact a romantic might have trouble being what someone else thinks of as romantic...Nostalgia is clinically considered a symptom of depression it's not pigeonholing anyone... If I wanted to do that I would do a better job of it... You all talk of the past, that is instinctual ,you experience it in your gut" remember when'', the present is in the heart, that is how do" I Feel Right Now!", "what if?" is the future and that is in the head it is fear..This issue is not gender related although many men tend to experience things in the "what if?" world so do many women..

from wiki'
A 17th Century medical student coined the term "nostalgia" for anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home, although some military doctors believed their problems were specific to the Swiss and caused by the Alpine racket of cowbells

 

Posted by: Gregory Scott on 02/02/2013 - 6:01 PM

I don't think it's over-simplification of real emotion. It can be. But sentiment about your children, your wife, you parents and siblings, and all the people and experiences that you truly and deeply love is normal. Anybody who cannot be sentimental might not be completely normal, might be, in some degree a sociopath. Sentiment, not to excess, merely means that you have emotional ties to your world, past and present that color and soften your perceptions.

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/02/2013 - 6:04 PM

Gregory, there is a difference between sentiment and sentimentality... a sociopath blames the world for their life situation and lacks empathy of any kind..empathy is very real and many have trouble with it..like when seeing a homeless person

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Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/07/2013 - 6:47 PM

so discernment has no value?

 

Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 02/07/2013 - 7:27 PM

Of course it has, which is exactly what I'm saying with that it's about what you put into it, and not some 'meme' or anti-meme that you think you should get out of it.

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/07/2013 - 7:29 PM

so are you saying I'm a lazy self serving art enthusiast ? because I don't appreciate an artists work?

 

Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 02/07/2013 - 7:30 PM

Uhm, no, I am / was saying that :

"Of course it has, which is exactly what I'm saying with that it's about what you put into it, and not some 'meme' or anti-meme that you think you should get out of it."

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/07/2013 - 7:33 PM

oh i like the lazy self serving art enthusiast better...

 

Posted by: Vincent Von Frese on 02/07/2013 - 8:29 PM

just about anything human is of sentimental value. The cold calculating scientists try to avoid it but then this is their failure because that lonely and abused Chimpanzee strapped to a stainless steel tank for the sake of some nothing experiment has reason to dissolve all experimentation with animals, especially near human animals like the great apes. The pharmacy industry is active in this inhumane activity as we speak.

 

Posted by: Michael Hoard on 02/07/2013 - 9:35 PM

Would my vintage photo of my grandparents be a sentimental photo. This was taken pre World War I

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Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/07/2013 - 9:53 PM

it might be to you but to me it is time piece...wonderful

 

Posted by: Maria Disley on 02/08/2013 - 3:30 AM

I think it's a wonderful sentimental timepiece.michael do you know anything about the situation. Is the reality that because they were young and in love, and, had children, grandchildren and great grandchildren maybe, justify it being sentimental. Can sentimentality be removed by an onlooker?
Can anyone admit to never being sentimental?
'it's what you put into it.......
Yes....like someone may look at robert's great paintings and feel sentimental, even though he did everything to avoid sentimentality.
Not picking on you robert btw.

 

Posted by: Maria Disley on 02/08/2013 - 3:40 AM

Bittersweett fool and flowers grave are amazing artworks as you said yourself you can't separate the artist from he art in this one.......do I detect some sentiment in those words robert.....as Vincent said....we can choose to fight it but it is a human facet.....sorry about grammar but I'm using an iPad...

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/08/2013 - 9:40 AM

Thank you Maria, I would say that those paintings were a form of rumination or lament... is that sentimental? I think they are an expression of remorse and shame, not sure that is sentiment.. Micheals photo is wonderful and the fact that they are his grandparents is irrelevant to it's wonder...it may be sentimental to him but not to me but still equally as wondrous ... What if they had a terrible relationship where is the truth there?

 

Posted by: Maria Disley on 02/08/2013 - 6:25 PM

It would be good if michael would respond to that, if he knows anything of the relationship. But as I said before, the viewer with no knowledge of the event puts their own sentiments/or not, onto the work, IMO. I think remorse and shame can be combined with sentiment, at funerals for example.
The dying sunflowers, make me feel remorseful because there,s no saving them, you can,t resuscitate a flower once it's gone past it's full flowering stage, but there,s sentiment. When we realise, it may flower again next year, not sure about sunflowers. We can look at the event in a lighter sense it has lived its expected life, saying that it doesn't,t stop us reflecting on the death, loss, sickness, our own mortality and the transience of life itself, oh and the destruction by man of the natural flora and fauna. That painting speaks volumes......if you have some amount of sentimentality, maybe?

 

Posted by: Maria Disley on 02/08/2013 - 6:36 PM

Rumination or lamentation are they equivalent to sentimental......not sure....but these discussions don,t prove one way or the other what really is sentimental.....it is only sentimental to the extreme which reveals that a person is basically a sentimental fool, focussing on the shallow, pretty, no consequence to life from an experienced adult, as children can be excused, but I think we are all so much more aware of saying ahhh! When we look at something, like my puppy,s face when I am speaking to her and her fluffy face moves from side to side !

 

Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 02/08/2013 - 7:20 PM

"We can look at the event in a lighter sense it has lived its expected life, saying that it doesn't,t stop us reflecting on the death, loss, sickness, our own mortality and the transience of life itself"

Yes, the transience, like Mono No Aware, which is also more towards the original meaning of the sentimental, of having / expressing / feeling a certain sensitivity...

http://ohthenovel.wordpress.com/mononoaware/

 

Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 02/08/2013 - 7:22 PM

I love the image of a fluffy puppy face!

 

Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 02/08/2013 - 7:28 PM

This is mono no aware...

 

Posted by: Xoanxo Cespon on 02/08/2013 - 7:37 PM

And this?

 

Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 02/08/2013 - 8:09 PM

Yes, the picture is a mono no aware, like a mnemonic footprint that lingers long. Great image. But what are the sounds, are they intentional as a contrast to the minute of random silence mentioned in the beginning or are they the camera recording itself?!

 

Posted by: Xoanxo Cespon on 02/08/2013 - 8:22 PM

sorry double post!

 

Posted by: Xoanxo Cespon on 02/08/2013 - 8:22 PM

Thanks Philip!!!

The sounds are an intentional random minute recording with a mic outside my studio. The silence is of course beneath it :-)

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/08/2013 - 8:37 PM

We can look at the event in a lighter sense it has lived its expected life, saying that it doesn't,t stop us reflecting on the death, loss, sickness, our own mortality and the transience of life itself, oh and the destruction by man of the natural flora and fauna. That painting speaks volumes..

thank you for this Maria but this is not sentimental but acceptance of the way things are....dead....

Philip and Xo i can't seem to watch any videos on my lap top , I'm on the road and need to download an update.., so I can't comment on them....

 

Posted by: Philip Sweeck on 02/08/2013 - 8:46 PM

"The sounds are an intentional random minute recording with a mic outside my studio. The silence is of course beneath it"


Ah, I see. I made this vid some long time ago. It also has a weird Lynchian sound in it ( played backwards or in slow-motion ), and then the silence and sound of falling snow...

http://motionandstill.net/index.php?/projects/snow/

 

Posted by: Robert James Hacunda on 02/08/2013 - 8:53 PM

I can sit in my 200 year old house deep up in the mountains that has no electricity and hear a candle hum or a buzz through the silence.. The snow falling with a hiss sounds like fine sweetness.. I've never heard sounds like this any where else..

 

Posted by: Maria Disley on 02/08/2013 - 10:41 PM

I think most of us would agree that there are some beautiful visuals in this discussion.....including some sentimental ones. The sound of snow...the hum of a candle...living in a 200 yr old cottage in the mountains.....how does this feel to you robert...just acceptance, peace, freedom, beauty, solace, romantic, isn't,t there a hint of sentimentality there somewhere.
In the sunflower image and rhetoric that followed, you felt acceptance I felt thatoo, but also more. Maybe I unable to be single minded.....just occurred to me now!
Sounds die too...but while they are reaching ur ears you describe them with a depth of feeling/thought/maybe even sentiment.....don,t give up do I? Haha
Thanks guys for those images while I was experiencing them I forgot about the pain in my arm!
For some reason I can,t see the images on theipad will try on laptop later.
My friend whose sister lives on a farm in the sticks told me that sitting outside in the peacefulness she could hear a snail moving across a leaf. I so wanted to hear that. I do recall many times in England hearing the fresh fall of snow pfft to the ground, already cushioned in the white stuff. I must send you all the Christmas chapter. Now that is full of sentiment,nostalgia,reality,fun,innocence,etc,etc

 

Posted by: Maria Disley on 02/08/2013 - 10:51 PM

Philip,
About snow motion.....I,m speechless!
At first I thought too noisy but then remembered oxo talking about the sound of the snow being beneath all other sounds, which I realised was man's noise not nature's....it was beautiful. The sound of the storm wind heightened the drama, and the way that the visuals evolved...very creative and sensitive. I don't think I felt much sentimentality, although I know it always lurks there, just the remembrance of snow is jam packed with sentiment FOR ME...

 

Posted by: Maria Disley on 02/08/2013 - 10:55 PM

I've just managed to see the wind scene, OMG, the force of nature, almost voicing it's own existence on camera, I love how the man responded to that sudden rouse of nature. :))

 

Posted by: Maria Disley on 02/08/2013 - 11:14 PM

I have just become a tarkovsky fan and will not rest until I have seen his film collection, then read his poetry....thank you philip!:))) apparently with his film collection is a documentary discussing in part.....sentimentality!!

 

This discussion is closed.