Sunday, March 4, 2012

How to have a "genuine experience with art"

"Make your own rules," seems to be the answer. In a recent book review by Jennifer B. McDonald of "The Lifespan of a Fact" by John D'Agata, which appeared in the New York Times, McDonald begins with the following:

"This book review would be so much easier to write were we to play by John D’Agata’s rules. So let’s try it. (1) This is not a book review; it’s an essay. (2) I’m not a critic; I’m an artist. (3) Nothing I say can be used against me by the subjects of this essay, nor may anyone hold me to account re facts, truth or any contract I have supposedly entered into with you, the reader. There are to be no objections. There are to be no letters of complaint. For you are about to have — are you ready? — a 'genuine experience with art.' "

And continues: "This is so liberating!"

Ah, the old "anything goes" theory of artistic creation. Never mind the facts. Never mind the world outside the artist's own head.

It's a great review - and reflection about the nature of "art" - the art form in this case being literary.

Check it out: "In the Details."

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