Question for the purpose of self-flagellation/screaming into the total noise: Are artists beyond politics?

Seeing Critchley endorsing another random Zero book, and then seeing that hes the editor to an anarchy anthology[1], makes me think how inter-connected all the ideas and ideologies of the left are. The right doesn’t appear to be getting a look in for me. All these people who I’ve been reading and consuming are driven, powered and fuelled by leftist politics. Before I read Very Little .. Almost Nothing, I had no idea Critchley was an anarchic lefty. I am oblivious.

The fiction reading, film watching and aesthetic activity of Critchley and JD Taylor can be seen as part of their political interests. This is making an assumption yes, that individuals can’t compartmentalise there differing beliefs.

Artists appear to co-habit in a realm away from politics, where right[2] and left counts for little. There libertarians without the apparent bias. Cyril Connolly and Alain De Botton actively bracket politics out of the equation. The Inner despair of us moderns, according to vogue intellectuals like John Gray,  is inherent in all of us, and removed from any structural or political causation.

The blogger Scott Hadley doesn’t appear to be politicised, yet he’s still active and vital in his writing. An aesthete recluse. Art house films seem similar on this level, small audience, refined schemas of visual ideas.

Everyone is the result of differing curiosities, and JD Talyor has found his niche – a Ballard inspired literary pessimism, mixed in with a socially democratic rhetoric. Critchley is a professionalized continental philosopher. Hadley is the supporter of the modernist and post-post modernist, non-systems writers. The opposite of who is perhaps Tom McCarthy, the British systems writer (In C and Satin Island[3]) that, I guess, would annoy someone like Hadley.

I’m left asking the question. Would Critchley, McCarthy or Taylor read Franzen’s Freedom, or watch something like the Babadook? Is pop culture and the vernacular deemed completely outside their remit?

And, where do I fit in? What if I take something from all these types of people? Perhaps my autodidacticism has gone too far? Have I become too greedy in my curiosity? Stuffed, obese, flatulent and rotunded in my thirst for all aesthetic schemes – visual, political, literary, textual, self-helpy, poppy, avant-garde.

[1] Comments at the bottom accuse Critchley of cutting loose a fellow editor

[2] Who’s the Rudyard Kipling of our age? Are Knausgaard’s tomes or DFW’s non-fiction voyages some kind of priestly escapism from the structural issues of today? What about Will Self’s inventive lucubration’s?

[3] Remainder wasn’t a systems book really, more a controlled fable, with contemporary overtones.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s