To continue the discussion of " waht art is," I think Vonnegut's work, Breakfast of Champions is a proper example.
It seems that many of us long for "art" that should appear "beautiful" and "meaningful." It seems that traditionally we require art or literature to be "beautiful" and "meaningful."
Here "beautiful"could mean poetic language, coherent narrative, and well-developed characters."
Meaning" could be our hunger for a clear message from the work.
However, present life situation, postmodernism in a historical sense, has becomed impossible for the
"beautiful" and "meaningful." The modern technology has made this world not necessary a better place
for humans but ironically a place for killing, pollution, and pornography .
Therefore, Vonnegut in Breakfast of Champions, questions the power of language as he puts rough drawings
of daily objets, such as hamburgers and fried chicken. Yes, we might raise the question: who can't draw like
that?And isn't it too easy and irresponsible as a writer? But the point is, these objects are reality in
postmodern life as church and sherpard are familiar in Medieval time. By presenting the familar commodities
of daily life, Vonnegut actually defamilarize the ideas of those objects, thus pushes readers to re-examine the
what American culture really is. Since literature exlores the relationship between art and life, it should not
appear more "beautiful" than life as Vonnegut says.