6 dic. 2011

Kitsch, Adorno, and Greenberg (and Mayhew's Lorca)

I guess I am going to have to tackle Clement Greenberg on modernism and kitsch, along with Benjamin on mechanical reproduction and Adorno on jazz, in my essay (chapter) on Lorca and kitsch. I am going to bring in some flamenco too, making an argument about flamenco re-appropriations of Lorca, in Enrique Morente, for example.

Two arguments I want to avoid making: that kitsch is simply "bad taste," that it can be dismissed. That modernist dismissals of kitsch are simply wrong because of their elitism, etc... Both of those arguments are too easy for me. I'm interested in how a mass or popular art becomes a highbrow artform.

I have to find a third argument there somewhere. I am rather excited about finding a perspective that builds on Apocryphal Lorca but that does not simply repeat that argument. In that book, kitsch was simply the logical extreme of simplistic American readings of Lorca. Now my perspective is a little more nuanced, since I will no longer be holding up the non-kitsch readings as superior.

So I guess those 120 hours of listening to flamenco podcasts was "work." I feel much less lazy now.

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The last chapter of a book should be the first chapter of your next book.