Thursday, December 15, 2005

Truer vision without critics and professionals?

An exceptional interview with the author, Philip Roth -

Philip Roth: Let's Shut Down The Literary World
"I would be wonderful with a 100-year moratorium on literature talk, if you shut down all literature departments, close the book reviews, ban the critics. The readers should be alone with the books, and if anyone dared to say anything about them, they would be shot or imprisoned right on the spot. Yes, shot. A 100-year moratorium on insufferable literary talk. You should let people fight with the books on their own and rediscover what they are and what they are not. Anything other than this talk. Fairytale talk. As soon as you generalise, you are in a completely different universe than that of literature, and there's no bridge between the two." The Guardian (UK) 12/15/05

I found this interesting because it could easily be more than just a literary phenomenon. If you take away the critics' push to promote the most outrageous work and the art departments' influence over "good" and "bad" art; then you're left with artists finding their own way, naturally seeking one another out. Reminds me of the "Abstract Expressionists" - de Kooning, Pollock, Krasner, Kline - DN


Anonymous said...

He reminds me of Patrick Symmes’ book on “ Chasing Che” where he writes, “They (folksingers) were local heroes who’d been at since the darkest days of the dictatorship. After a while they let a poet on stage, and he read some verse. That was the funny thing about a dictatorship: it was great for culture. If there was one sure way Pinochet could support poetry, it was by staging a military coup, shooting a bunch of people, and tossing some tear gas around once in a while. Literature became not some pointless abstraction, but a pointed one. The dictatorship filled their readings, it put standing room crowds in theaters. Politics was banned, but culture was there, and the people of Chile used it like they used oxygen. And then they unbanned politics. Democracy was restored in 1990. The good guys won, sort of. And suddenly the poets weren’t needed anymore. “ Get rid of the critics, and restore everybody’s happiness and you have no culture. Perhaps that is the problem with your art movements as well. No politics, no need to express yourself. You end up boring people with blotches of paint on a piece of paper.

Anonymous said...

there is a lot more in life than politics more importantly there is a lot more in life to paint and write about than politics. take a look at jack kerouac, or jackson pollock yes there are many more. so you cant really pick one side of banishing things or another. Its so full of opinions it depends i guesse on where you live VS the style of art and poetry you use.

Anonymous said...

and if you think art is just blotches of paint on canvas you dont understand or feel it anyway. so you probly wont be looking at it anyway to get bored