Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think about Art, by A. O. Scott

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By A. O. Scott

The New York occasions film critic exhibits why we'd like feedback now greater than ever

Few might clarify, not to mention hunt down, a occupation in feedback. but what A.O. Scott exhibits in Better dwelling via Criticism is that we're, in reality, all critics: simply because serious pondering informs virtually each element of inventive construction, of civil motion, of interpersonal existence. With penetrating perception and hot humor, Scott indicates that whereas person critics--himself included--can make error and locate flaws the place they shouldn't, feedback as a self-discipline is among the noblest, such a lot artistic, and pressing actions of recent existence.

Using his personal movie feedback as a beginning point--everything from his notorious dismissal of the foreign blockbuster The Avengers to his extreme affection for Pixar's lively Ratatouille--Scott expands outward, simply guiding readers throughout the complexities of Rilke and Shelley, the origins of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, the ability of Marina Abramovich and 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.' Drawing at the lengthy culture of feedback from Aristotle to Susan Sontag, Scott exhibits that actual feedback was once and consistently could be the breath of unpolluted air that permits real creativity to thrive. "The time for feedback is often now," Scott explains, "because the primary to imagine sincerely, to insist at the beneficial stability of cause and fervour, by no means is going away."

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Extra info for Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think about Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth

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Together with the artist Alfred Maurer, Glackens purchased for Barnes works by Cézanne, van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, Pissarro, and others. Barnes later traveled to Paris to make his own purchases from dealers and auction houses. He eventually assembled one of the most dazzling collections of modern French painting anywhere in the world. By the time of his death, in 1951, he had acquired 180 works by Renoir, sixty-nine by Cézanne, sixty by Matisse, forty-four by Picasso, fourteen by Modigliani, twenty-one by Soutine, eighteen by Henri Rousseau, seven by van Gogh, six by Seurat, as well as a handful of Gauguins, Toulouse-Lautrecs, Braques, Monets, Manets, and others.

For Professor Fried, the fact that a painting’s subject is prosaic is only an added spur to his overworked faculty of fantasy. In the end it is a macabre kind of bookish fantasy, not scholarship, not criticism, that animates Courbet’s Realism. As such, the book is a veritable inventory of fashionable academic topics and rhetorical tics. (I go into greater detail about Mr. Fried’s pomposities in Chapter 2 of my book Tenured Radicals [revised edition, Ivan R. Dee, 1998]). Mr. Fried offers a bit of everything: a pinch of deconstruction, a large measure of sexual politics, a positive obsession with issues of power and domination, all mixed and stirred in Professor Fried’s deadpan academic-ese.

Mr. Glanton and others are determined to prove him wrong, even if it means making a travesty of his ideas and trampling on the principle of private property. It is disheartening to behold. 1993 Betraying a Legacy: The Case of the Barnes Foundation 37 postscript 2001 The controversy over the Barnes Foundation has not quieted down in the years following the world tour of highlights from its collection. Despite the millions raised from the tour, the Foundation teetered close to insolvency under Mr.

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