In response to the question, "Are you a sentimentalist?" I recently replied more or less with, "As much as reason allows. . . ."
An interesting response considering that reason and objective thought stand in marked contrast to the idealistic feeling that characterizes sentiments.
There seems to be a general antipathy toward such layering, especially in art. To be sure, there is a line beyond which something can become "sappy." Thus, not long ago--in consideration of my art, for example--I thought: To do away with all sentiment. It was almost a call to action, a pledge. But then I paused. Away with all sentiment? Away with ideals? Away with feeling? To become an elightened thinker to the utmost: a true Western man--a modern man? . . .
No. To do away with all sentiment is to do away with God, maybe even goodness. He is not governed by reason--if reason can aid us in facing Him at all. Absolute Truth. Love. Can reason define them fully, even accurately? . . .
No. Faith is needed: a trust in the mystery. Is that not holding on to a kind of sentimentalism? Is idealistic feeling not one way to commune with the Heavens? . . .
It seems that I shall remain to some degree a sentimentalist. Yet returning to my original response, is the degree to which I do so measured or governed, in fact, by my reason? Or is my reason, rather, held within the hands of incalculable sentiments? . . .