Longing for the Clouds - Does Beautiful Weather Have To Be Fine


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Any attempt to outline a meteorological aesthetics centered on so-called beautiful weather has to overcome several difficulties: In everyday life, the appreciation of the weather is mostly related to practical interests or reduced to the ideal of stereotypical fine weather that is conceived according to blue-sky thinking irrespective of climate diversity. Also, an aesthetics of fine weather seems, strictly speaking, to be impossible given that such weather conditions usually allow humans to focus on aspects other than weather, which contradicts the autotelic character of beauty. The unreflective equation of beautiful weather with moderately sunny weather and a cloudless sky also collides with the psychological need for variation: even living in a “paradisal” climate would be condemned to end in monotony. Finally, whereas fine weather is related in modern realistic literature to cosmic harmony and a universal natural order, contemporary literary examples show that in the age of the climate change, fine weather may be deceitful and its passive contemplation, irresponsible. This implies the necessity of a reflective aesthetic attitude on weather, as influenced by art, literature, and science, which discovers the poetics of bad weather and the wonder that underlies average weather conditions.
Keywords climate change   environmental aesthetics   literature   weather
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