Friday, 10 February 2006

Judgment for Philistines

Philistines, whose presence in the arts is almost universal, permitting them to dispense the epithet “philistine” to anyone who dares challenge their dominance, are often quite explicit in the admission of the means by which they judge art and by which one might judge them to be philistines. Colin Furrow, for instance, in The London Review of Books, opines that:
[Anthony] Burgess . . . is politically unsituated, or politically confused, in ways that can cloud literary judgments [of his work] and perhaps even disturb them.
Colin Burrow, “Not Quite Nasty” (Book Review of The Real Life of Anthony Burgess by Andrew Biswell), London Review of Books, Vol. 28:3, 9th February 2006.
Well, quite! Without a clear understanding of its political utility, how could a philistine begin to judge a literary work?

2 comments:

J.Cassian said...

Well, what did you expect from "The London Review of Berks"? After all, political posturing is far more important than mere literature.

"Everyone sees a 1960s sideboard or a 1980s haircut as dated, and, beyond an embarrassed smile at our folly for ever having admired such cheesy horrors, these things rarely give rise to any thought."

Am I alone in seeing the irony of these words appearing on a page hawking the shop-soiled wares of Terry Eagleton? Or is 1970s Polytechnic Marxism truly timeless and transcendent?

Deogolwulf said...

"Or is 1970s Polytechnic Marxism truly timeless and transcendent?"

What a horrifying prospect you have put before us!