Off Topic on Bad Books

Nat Case hedberg at
Wed Sep 1 20:27:54 EDT 1999

I really object to the idea of any arts judgement we make as "objective".
>From what "objective" point are you making this judgement? There are
cultural standards, which we all have inherited one way or another, but I
just don't buy that there's ANY objective basis of aesthetic judgement that
cannot be challenged and put on its head.

A lot of what I'm working on now is precisely the question of what people
get from "bad" writing. "Objectively," I don't think it's all that different
from what we get from Jones. At the core of wanting to read a book, see a
film, look at a painting, listen to music, or whatever, is the experience of
being down in the middle of something DIFFERENT. And our different tastes,
and beyond that, our different fundamental ideas of what is Good Art and
what is Schlock, have much more to do with our society, our social selves,
and our experiences outside the work in question, than they do to the work

Sorry to sound like a flame, but I do get het up about this stuff. This list
is such a great way to crystallize ART IS A TOOL (working title). And now
I've got some time in October and January to write up this stuff. I expect
I'll be running it past you all... and in the meantime as well.

Nat Case
Hedberg Maps, Inc.

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