Fri. June 1
The Daily Pop Culture Scene
Prince Charles was only 4 1/2 when his mother was crowned Queen of England on June 2, 1953, but he can still picture that day.
When did judges become the ultimate arbiters of art?
Hardly a month goes by without a court being asked to settle a dispute over the nature of artistic meaning, expression or authenticity. These are the big-think questions that confound philosophers, art critics and artists themselves. But judges are regularly obliged to take on these questions—and their answers have huge consequences for what can and cannot be attempted by artists.
The Western literary canon has long been debated and criticized by academics, and rightly so. Which books belong and which don’t? Now The Graphic Canon: The World’s Great Literature as Comics and Visuals, a three-volume series edited by Russ Kick (Seven Stories Press), which presents classic lit as comic strips, adds a bit more fuel to the intellectual fires.
According to the sadly standard dichotomy, prescriptivists believe that certain usages are inherently correct and others inherently incorrect, and that to promote correct forms is to uphold truth, morality, excellence, and a respect for the best of our civilization. To indulge incorrect ones, meanwhile, is to encourage relativism, vulgar populism, and the dumbing down of literate culture.