Friday, August 31, 2007

Histriomastix: Art for Critic's Sake:

The play “does not possess the penetrating truth or revelatory originality of a fully achieved work of art.” Really? So…it’s not art? Is it at least a fully achieved piece of entertainment? What is the difference? If, in 50 years, no one has written a large-scale family drama that is better than A:OC, will it be upgraded to the ranks of fully-achieved art (FAWA)? Is Isherwood speaking as a newspaper reviewer of 2007 or a cultural commissar from the distant future? Where does he park his time machine?

I wonder how often Isherwood’s Tony-named colleagues—Scott and Tommasini—review a new movie or symphony and go out of their way to assure the reader: Well it’s no Citizen Kane or Beethoven’s Ninth, but pretty good! Do reviewers in other fields even bother with this sort of hierarchizing humbug? What proprietary, red-velvet-rope-fondling arrogance. What laughable, bean-counting, pompous equivocation. Anton Such antique snobbery is beneath even pre-ratatouille-munching Anton Ego (and I say that as a Neo-Snob). In closing: If you ever catch me issuing such vapid, flatulent dicti, kick me in my fat ass.