nate patrin.

November 1, 2007, 2:51 pm
Filed under: Criticism | Tags:

I would print this Darnielle post out and tape it above my desk, only my printer doesn’t have a USB connector and my new PC doesn’t have one of those old-timey LPT1 printer ports. Also, I’m not sure where above my desk I could post it, since it’s one of those 7-foot-high backless Ikea deals without any actual vertical surfaces perpendicular to my line of vision. I’ll probably just try to memorize this last paragraph instead:

The ideal would be criticism that aspired neither to praise nor to damn, but to understand and elucidate; the ideal would involve not wanting to help or hinder the object of one’s scrutiny, but to fairly describe it. That would be real progress toward something rigorous and difficult and exciting, and…well: does that sound like something our culture, macro or micro, is really equipped to do at this point in our history?

I suppose that a good compromise would be criticism that gives detailed, closely-analyzed notions for why a band or record or song is being praised or damned beyond “it sounds [better]/[worse] than this band I [like]/[hate]” and/or “the people who I believe listen to music like this are generally [trustworthy]/[hipster douchebags],” but the fact that we’re even needing to discuss this type of writing as something to aspire to is a pretty telling sign.


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