Archive for the ‘Art and Theory’ Category

Interesting video by Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist, on failure. His principles:

— Be willing to fail–a lot

— Fail on a survivable scale

— Spot failure and fix it, early.

Good stuff. Well worth the three minutes it will take to watch this video. (BTW, Harford tweets at @TimHarford).

(And of course, there is always this, from Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”)


The eminent critic Michael Fried discusses the philosophical stakes of the visual arts by reference to five books: Denis Diderot‘s Salons, Merleau-Ponty‘s Phenomenology of Perception, Stanley Cavell‘s Disowning Knowledge in Seven Plays by Shakespeare, the Cropper/Dempsey book on Poussin and Thomas Mann‘s Doctor Faustus. Fried is trying to wrap up phenomenology, analytic philosophy, modernism and painting in one arty package. A recommended read, if only for the contemplation of Fried’s massive ambition.

And, for fun, “59 Things You Didn’t Know About Virginia Woolf.” Who knew she cooked her wedding ring into a suet pudding?

Kyle Minor schools us on the beauty and subtlety of Nabokov’s sentences.

The National Book Critic’s Circle announces award finalists in autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Will Hilary Mantel, who won this year’s Man Booker Prize win again with Wolf Hall? Will Stephen Burt win for Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry? (Bat Terrier definitely hopes so–Burt’s book is terrific.)

Alan Badiou’s “Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art,” or how to simultaneously avoid the Scylla of endless formal invention and the Charybdis of Romantic/Gothic objectification of the body. Recommended for theorists. And here’s Badiou’s longer explanation.