Saturday, September 18, 2010

Aesthetic Ethics

I was trying to explain to a friend today why I thought a particular short story was bad (doesn't matter which one; all right, if you must know
it's this one by James Franco, the actor turned...[I can't bring myself to type word "writer"]) and then I read this startlingly thoughtful essay by Matthew Zapruder over at The Rumpus in which he writes:

"'Bad' is a moral judgment masquerading as an aesthetic preference. We reserve the term for art that doesn't just bore or displease, but somehow offends...these poems are 'bad' because they are unethical. And they are unethical because they are dishonest."

Which is what I wish I had been able to say to my friend.

1 comment:

  1. I imagine getting to the truth, in any context, is difficult, at best, for most people — especially, artists. Perhaps, that’s why it’s so appealing. And why its absence is so disappointing.