"Art Objects" is just that--a meditation on art and the men and women who create and view it.
Whether discussing the Mona Lisa or Gertude Stein's poetry or Virginia Woolf's The Waves, Winterson explores the complexities of learning to "sit" with art, allowing what at first seems perplexing and foreign to seep in, confuse us, and open us to enlighten Not only can she write beautiful novels and short stories, but Jeanette Winterson can hold her own as a solid philosopher, art critic, and essayist.
If one of your novels gets picked up by a network or moviehouse and gets made into a film or Television Mini=Series, you really shouldn’t be posing as an anti-Canonite. There are two reasons to reject The Canon :: 1) No one can find anywhere anything that even begins to look like a Definitive List subsisting in the Real World (no matter that Bloom’s pub’er insisted he write one up) ; ie, I can’t find it, therefore it don’t exist. I mean, typically, The Most Powerful Person in the Room is not the one holding the door for you ;; rather it is those for whom the Doorman does his doormanning.
OR 2) It does exist as a definitive list of 100 Books and it excludes so many that ought to be on there that it can’t function as its concept demands it function ; ie, we reject The Canon because it’s not Complete and Definitive. Is Winterson implying that she is herself an ‘iconoclast’? The folks that guard entry and exits are publishers.
For when Jeanette Winterson looks at works as diverse as the "Mona Lisa" and Virginia Woolf's "The Waves," she frees them from layers of preconception and restores their power to exalt and unnerve, shock and transform us."Art Objects is a book to be admired for its effort to speak exorbitantly, urgently and sometimes beautifully about art and about our individual and collective need for serious art."-- "Los Angeles Times"A collection of aesthetic and critical essays, Art Objects is an engaging look at the role of art and the artist in modern life.
Across ten essays Jeanette Winterson alternates between sketching a theory of art and offering commentary on individual works of high art, namely the experimental writings of Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf.The anti-Canonite should be unveiled as standing in opposition to something like The Murty Classical Library of India. What the pro=Canon folks are doing, whether Murty or Penguin or Oxford or etc, is publishing everything.It’s not polite to say ; but what Winterson says up there I find simply stupid. But why should you be esteemed for posing as an anti-Canonite when everything you have to say seems to rise very little beyond an adolescent anti=Authoritarianism?Like everything else that is important, no one can come up with an adequate Definition. What should be noted is how the Icon itself is first constructed by the Iconoclast him/herself. And frankly, some of the biggest publishers in the world, ie, Penguin, are digging up any and every old book in the world and pushing it within Classics Covers. True enough that it’s a hell of a lot easier to get a dissertation on Shakespeare approved than it is to get one on Dorothy Richardson approved ;; nevertheless, Richardson is getting a critical=edition treatment by Oxford in the coming years. “Warning shots over the uneducated” ;; this is a potshot about how people will read what they like and the market is perfectly happy to supply it?[or maybe we should be primping these uneducated who spend their time playing Video Games and then how the job of the Critic and the Gatekeeper is to lionize the importance of playing Video Games and how they are just as Valid as the plays of Shakespeare?] Who is it constructing these ‘uneducated’ and why aren’t you out voting for Sanders so the USof A can catch up with the rest of the Developed World and provide things like Education and Health Care to ALL of our citizens? But Liberal Education is getting beaten up on all sides these days.Early 20th century Canon projects were merely Educational projects. Why do I feel so old=fashion for standing behind a Liberal Arts Education? What the hell is “Existentialist Doubt” and what does it have to do with The Canon?In these ten intertwined essays, one of our most provocative young novelists proves that she is just as stylish and outrageous an art critic.For when Jeanette Winterson looks at works as diverse as the "Mona Lisa" and Virginia Woolf's "The Waves," she frees them from layers of preconception and restores their power to exalt and unnerve, shock and transform us."Art Objects In these ten intertwined essays, one of our most provocative young novelists proves that she is just as stylish and outrageous an art critic.Many of the ideas about art that Winterson offers in these essays are out of style for good reason, and it feels bizarre that she fashions herself as subversive for holding them, just because they’re unpopular.In spite of that, the title essay and a few others are strong and make the collection worth checking out, if not reading in full.