Prufrock's Page

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

No Favourites

The widely-prevalent practice of asking people about their favourite book/song/movie/cultural artefact is one that annoys Ezra Glinter: "It has never really occurred to me to choose a favourite book or favourite author, simply because there are so many good ones. Trying to rate the seeming infinitude of literary talent according to some scale of relative merit seems like an absurd undertaking. The same principle applies even when it comes to works under whose influence I have unquestionably fallen." He concludes, somewhat snappishly: "I suppose that identifying oneself with the works of certain artists provides some existential meaning or satisfaction. Personally, whenever I encounter some work whose artistic power is of great magnitude, my goal is not to subsume myself under its banner, but to suck from it whatever insight or perspective it may have to offer in order to enrich my own experience of life."


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