Monday, January 15, 2007

If you haven't seen this, there's an entertaining article here by Zadie Smith. No, it's not about art or art criticism; it's about writing fiction. But it does deal with one of my favorite topics: The history of art as a series of failures.

Smith also writes about T.S. Eliot's Tradition and the Individual Talent, an essay that I've foisted on my Intro Art Theory students in the past. She rightly dismisses Eliot's whole semi-conservative early modern shtick about the subtraction of the self from art--and suggests that maybe what Eliot wanted to escape wasn't personality, but responsibility for having his wife institutionalized.

Despite that, I do still like Eliot's belief that the emotion of art is as powerful as the emotion of life--but that although it often imitates the forms that lived emotion/experience takes, the emotion of art is ultimately something different.


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