Corpsey

call me big papa
He's probably the worst writer of the last 100 years. End of conversation. Lock thread.
I think of anyone on here Luka has the most artistic temperament I've seen - which is to say, he's a fundamentalist. This is by no means an insult, although it might be a mischaracterisation.

But you see what I did there? I shied away from taking a strong position. I apologised for myself in advance. This is unacceptable for the artistic temperament. It won't get you anywhere. As luka says, an artist has to first and foremost BELIEVE in what they're doing.

In an introduction to Nabokov and Edmund Wilson's correspondence Nabokov is quoted as saying (I'm quoting from memory) that a book is either ''bedside or wastebasket". That's how Luka is - not only is X writer bad, he is the worst writer ever. Not only should this book not be read, it should be burned.

As for me, I'm stuck with (at best) the critic's temperament. I am doubtful, doubtfilled. So I can poke holes in things, I can conjure up depth interpretations, but I cannot light the flaming word against the shadowed multiverse.

In other words, Hamlet couldn't have written "Hamlet".
 
Last edited:

Corpsey

call me big papa
Tolstoy famously wrote some of the most empathetic novels ever - within a narrow band, perhaps, he could imagine everyone.

He is also one of the most egotistical men to have ever lived (or at least to have had the publicity).

Is this a contradiction?
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Tolstoy famously wrote some of the most empathetic novels ever - within a narrow band, perhaps, he could imagine everyone.

He is also one of the most egotistical men to have ever lived (or at least to have had the publicity).

Is this a contradiction?
No, because he created the novels and the characters in them. It's all "his" so his egotism remains intact.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
However, the best critics are artists. The best criticism, art. Some of the greatest cultural criticism you will ever read is contained in À rebours.
 

pattycakes_

Active member
Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance.

James Baldwin

There's no room left in the cultural void for the artistic temperament. Talent doesn't count for much and if you're difficult, there are endless pools of much easier to work with, easier on the eye, mediocre blobs of quasi talented flesh just waiting to be exploited. I wonder how a James Baldwin would fare in the current climate.
 

blissblogger

Active member
It'll be more fun if you try and guess.
Oh is it DeLillo? cos i saw another thread some reference to Luke not liking DeLillo.

Personally I love White Noise and liked a few other things, but it does get a bit turgid later on - and it gets into this thing where every character sounds like Don DeLillo, and they are pontificating in these long quasi-dialogues about contemporary life in vague Umberto Eco / Baudrillard everythings-hyperreal-these-days kind of way, and it's just Don talking to himself.

If I hadn't seen that in t'other thread, i'd probably guess David Foster Wallace or somebody of that ilk. In the Great American Novel, or postmodern latterday variants on it, lineage.

Or perhaps Brett Easton Ellis.

But this is just me guessing what someone else might be feeling, not my opinion
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
It's David Foster Wallace, but he had some choice words for DeLillo too.

I don't think it's unfair to say de lillo is one of the worst writers ever to use the english language. Dumb in such a typically american male way.
Underworld is by far and away the worst novel I've ever read.
See if you can find the opening page online. It's staggering. Nothing will ever be that bad again. It's a kind of degree zero.
I group it with Terrence Malick. A specifically American stupidity. impotent dry humping. Bathetic.
 

blissblogger

Active member
But yeah you are right in your thread-thesis I think

And one thing is that the Artist, and the Critic-Artist too - when they behave like that in real life, they are absolutely unbearable and monstrous.

On the page or the art-context, they have to be tyrannical, single-minded, brutally decisive etc etc

But when they think they need to live that out in real life, or they can't switch it off - it's pretty unbearable.

I was thinking about this recently cos i did a masterclass in journalism / criticism, and it occurred to me that what makes for good criticism is not something that would translate well to everyday life - if someone behaved like they did on the page, in conversation in a pub or a party - pontificating forcefully for an uninterrupted 1000 words or more, smashing down opposing arguments, rising to a high pitch of exaltation or derision, etc it wouldn't go down well at all. this is someone you would avoid, whereas it is something you actively seek out in the context of a book or a magazine. Or at least I do.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
... if someone behaved like they did on the page, in conversation in a pub or a party - pontificating forcefully for an uninterrupted 1000 words or more, smashing down opposing arguments, rising to a high pitch of exaltation or derision, etc it wouldn't go down well at all. this is someone you would avoid, whereas it is something you actively seek out in the context of a book or a magazine. Or at least I do.
I know one person like this irl, it's awful and he doesn't even write.
 

pattycakes_

Active member
On the page or the art-context, they have to be tyrannical, single-minded, brutally decisive etc etc

But when they think they need to live that out in real life, or they can't switch it off - it's pretty unbearable.
And yet it was people who fit this description who delivered us so many high reaching art works throughout history. The more society pushes out these pathologies the more boring and tame the world of art becomes. Talk about catch 22.
 
Top