Nathaniel Kahn’s “The Price of Everything” Speaks All Too Conventionally about Art and Money

A Gathering of the Tribes

Pretty much the only uninspired approach to art and money a documentary could take would be an entire film pitting the justifications of market apologists on one side against the stale clichés of titular romantics on the other. Unfortunately, this is precisely the movie that Mr. Kahn has made… Read more

Against Writing

A Gathering of the Tribes

In Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, there is a poignant exchange between the nameless master of the novel’s title, and the everyman-poet Ivan Bezdomny:

“What, don't you like my poetry?” asked Ivan with some curiosity.
“I hate it.”
“Which poems have you read?”
“I haven’t read any of your poems!” the visitor anxiously exclaimed.
“Then how can you say that?”
“What?” his guest responded. “As if I haven’t read any other poems? Is it so unexpected? But alright, I'm prepared to take it on faith. You tell me. Is your poetry any good?”
“Monstrous!” Ivan suddenly said, boldly and earnestly.
“Don't write any more!” the visitor implored… Read more

Paradise Regained: Erich Erving’s Bona Breviary of the Fabulosa Innocents

A Gathering of the Tribes

It is characteristic of our cultural moment that sincerity often sits uneasy in our stomachs. We’ve heard all the lines before. We know them from a million b-list movies we can’t quite recall, but which form a background of white noise to everything we take in today. Anything that remotely resembles the budget passions of daytime television specials is rejected as cliché, the thoughtcrime whose name itself can no longer be pronounced for fear of falling into it… Read more