So wrote John Keats in 1819 in “Ode on a Grecian Urn” one of the five ‘great odes’ written that year. Ever since then, those two lines are perhaps the most argued & debated lines in English poetry; their meaning & intent disputed by all the great writers and critics that followed. If one considers Keats’ statement valid, and one agrees with his idea of beauty (symmetry, elegant, pleasing visually) one then consigns much of the modern arts (visual, aural, written) to the dustbin. So, in response, many have stated that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ which allows them to neatly sidestep Keats’ proclamation.
You do have to admit though, that sometimes a pretty picture is a valid form of expression or that an eloquent turn of language, in its setting, is, in and of itself, beautiful (and thus truthful) at that moment of its existence.
If truth can be found in beauty, and the definition of beauty is large enough to encompass all time, all things then the simplest, prettiest, most pleasing (and its complete opposite) to any one viewer/reader/listener would fall to their own taste. How can we (or anyone) condemn that? All of us are entitled to our opinion regarding what we consider beautiful & meaningful & inspiring & eloquent & soothing & thought-provoking & restful & pleasing.
Isn’t their enjoyment, regardless of your opinion of their art/book/music, as valid as yours? Of course, it is. Beauty & its individual meaning is only accessible via the life experience of the viewer/reader/listener. Yet at the same time, as humans we still share a common thread of understanding and passion, a uniformity of the mind if you will that allows us to appreciate & viscerally connect with that which we are unfamiliar with & perhaps afraid of or disdainful of (disdain–the first defense of the sycophant & pedant.)
It’s true that there is art, music, literature that I find abysmal, but I applaud & encourage those whose taste runs counter to mine; for finding their truth, their beauty where they can, when they can & how they can.