augury doggerel

Monday, February 17, 2003


I nearly forgot this word.

To be without a feeling for art is no disaster. A person can live in peace without reading Proust or listening to Schubert. But the misomusist does not live in peace. He feels humiliated by the existence of something that is beyond him, and he hates it. There is a popular misomusy just as there is a popular anti-Semitism. The fascist and Communist regimes made use of it when they declared war on modern art. But there is an intellectual, sophisticated misomusy as well: it takes revenge on art by forcing it to a purpose beyond the aesthetic. The doctrine of engage art: art as an instrument of politics. The professors for whom a work of art is merely the retext for deploying a method (psychoanalytic, semiological, sociological, etc.). The apocalypse of art: the misomusists will themselves take on the making of art; thus will their historic vengeance be done.

Stolen from Kundera's The Art of the Novel.


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