So... Tolkien was an anti-modernist?
I keep looking for reasons to make myself read Tolkien, but I keep coming up with very very good reasons (for me) not to. Notable among them: Harold Bloom wrote about him. And the prose, as I've sampled it, looks like it was literally translated from the Gothic subjunctive. Ugh, it feels like required reading already.
TV channel flipping brings me to a
PBS You telecourse
about art of the Western world. Tonight's episode: the 19th century European
avant-garde. I know that all the parties involved at the time thought
of what they were doing as very passionate and important, and I appreciate
how they were debating points that ended up shaping our whole idea of media
and image -- but there was something extremely dull about the whole thing,
as if I were watching a history of medieval theologians, who also held very
passionate and important opinions that affect us, and yet somehow are quite
Probably what bored me was the full revelling in the mythology of the Important Artist as Misunderstood Rebel, who is doing Work that will Shock Society. It's hard to pretend an interest in ideas that have been trite and desiccated since before the birth of anyone I've ever met.