|As reviewers, is this our motto? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
(Quoted in Sarris, Interviews with Film Directors , p. 424)
53) To what degree does one plan a review? I don't mean structure as one writes but anticipation as one encounters the thing to be reviewed. Certainly experience and knowledge of the art form tell us that certain things must be scrutinized. But to what degree do we strive for the so-called "open mind," ready to engage on some element of the thing that we did not anticipate. Obviously, we have a checklist at the back of our minds as we review. I assume if we review often enough, we develop a kind of "muscle memory" of what matters - there are elements of the experience we can't NOT see. But are we capable of keeping the checklist at the back of our minds rather than the front. Are we open to the thing in personal, even eccentric ways, acknowledging that every "read" of an art object is personal. How does it make us "new," if I may get richly vague.
54) "In the first place, as we all know and as Nabokov on numerous occasions was pleased to remind us, art is at bottom an elaborate con game, but one whose techniques are designed to lead us by degrees into a realm of authentic emotion and aesthetic bliss, which justifies the con."
55) Rebecca Solnit - "I just made humorous remarks about some books and some dead writers’ characters. These guys were apparently so upset and so convinced that the existence of my opinions and voice menaced others’ rights. Guys: censorship is when the authorities repress a work of art, not when someone dislikes it.
"I had never said that we shouldn’t read Lolita. I’ve read it more than once. I joked that there should be a list of books no woman should read, because quite a few lionized books are rather nasty about my gender, but I’d also said “of course I believe everyone should read anything they want. I just think some books are instructions on why women are dirt or hardly exist at all except as accessories or are inherently evil and empty.” And then I’d had fun throwing out some opinions about books and writers. But I was serious about this. You read enough books in which people like you are disposable, or are dirt, or are silent, absent, or worthless, and it makes an impact on you. Because art makes the world, because it matters, because it makes us. Or breaks us."