Seeing the truth of mythos through monuments

There is a truth claim to a monument. First and most obviously this subject is monumental- that is, of historical significance, worth remembering, and worthy of reverence. This is why there is something absurd, ugly, and ultimately false in the monuments and personality cults of, say, the Soviets or the North Koreans. For the same reason, the monument can only symbolize but cannot completely create reverence. It concretizes cultural reverence, which itself must be judged by and based on the nature of things.

The truth of the monument is a particularly vivid case of the truth one finds in art, and which can only be found in art. We cannot replace the monument with a proposition, nor do we experience the truth of the monument in a propositional manner. One does not conclude to the truth of a monument, he simply stands within it. Again, the truth of a conclusion or an axiom can be had without entering into its significance, but the truth (or falsity) of the monument cannot be. And so while we first spoke of the truth of art as the logos speaks of truth (as a proposition), this was only for the sake of illustration. The truth of mythos is other than this, though it is just as much of a truth.

 

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