Roger Kimball (Co-editor of the New Criterion) critiques the notion that art is experience and beauty is not relevant.

“This much, I think, is clear: Without an allegiance to beauty, art degenerates into a caricature of itself; it is beauty that animates aesthetic experience, making it so seductive; but aesthetic experience itself degenerates into a kind of fetish or idol if it is held up as an end in itself, untested by the rest of life.”


  1. I want to punch him right in the tooth. Not so much because he has his own opinion on things and I tend to disagree with him, but because his narrow, fascist’s view of art’s fundamental nature is exactly the kind of thing that nostalgia-driven traditionalists in Christian “high-culture” circles will wrest upon like starved turkey vultures. And when they go to spread the good word of their holy truth about art amongst the erudite-hopefuls in our Christian communities, those poor suckers will lap it up.

    And then I’ll have my deprogramming work cut out for me.

    Fact is, an allegiance only has so much to do with art as the artist cares it to have. Despite Kimball’s seeming desire for there to be a rigid category for art with boundaries neatly defined, what the world knows as art leaps and skips over those confining barriers at every turn. The goal of the artist for his art is as individual as the artists themselves. To this article I say thee Humbug.

    Still, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of Kimball’s The Rape of the Masters and especially find it enjoyable that due to awesome design sense on the part of the publishers, I have a book on my shelf that every visitor will believe is called: Rape Masters.

    The Danes last blog post..20080924.OscarWilde

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