DELEN ARTS is a blog about the arts and living the ethnic pastiche by three American writers of color: Afro-Latina, Southern Black, and Asian-American. “Delen” has etymological roots in Old Dutch, and the verb form means to share. We chose this name because one of the most dynamic outcomes of arts and culture is the action of sharing them. Charlotte Brontë once said that “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”
Our blog is purposefully, eruditely idiosyncratic which means that we confess to ourselves and, therefore, to you, dear readers, that we are hungry for writing and meta-writing that is useful and not theorized to pieces as if theory is a house and not a brick. So it should be clear that this blog is by writers, but what may be less clear is what we mean by “useful.” We mean useful in the way that using a metaphor to describe hunger is commonplace: “I’m as hungry as a hostage.” Or this commonplace use of hyperbole for hunger: “I am so hungry I could eat a horse.” Or the electronic use of visual art on social media sites to convey a different kind of hunger–nostalgia: the famous Dios Disfrute A La Reina picture of Celia Cruz singing. Useful not as a means to an end, but a way to and through a door and a hallway to a house as opulent as the imperial house, but not it at all. Our “useful” is not the austerity of utility, but the application of language as art shared by all artists and scores of readers. We share the work of artists working with various mediums and multiple mediums. They are strangers to us and dear friends, novices and artistic treasures of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Fran Lebowitz is famous for her wit and love of New York, but we love her for this line about performing arts: And it used to be that the audience was critical, demanded excellence. Ultimately, we know that even the bright and well-read read the top-tier publications about arts and letters and have no idea what’s being said. So the educated audience is not critical because this is suppose to be the big-ass cherry on top of the sundae. Here, the reader’s intimidation has less to do with linguistics and more to do with bullshit. We don’t want to bullshit, at least not on purpose.