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Art, Class & Cleavage: A Quantulumcunque Concerning Materialistic Esthetics Paperback – July 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Interlink Pub Group (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0704380668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0704380660
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,241,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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" A funny and brilliant book. It provides evidence that radicalism survives in the most exciting and exacting forms. " --Peter Ackroyd

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "lexo-2" on December 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a kind of treatise on aesthetics, from the man who brought you "Frank Zappa: the Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play". Watson is about as far to the British left as you can get; it would be safe to say that he probably doesn't think much of Tony Blair. His book on Zappa made him infamous among Zappa fans for being too, duh, political, and this book is if anything even more stridently polemical in its attempt to change the way we think about culture. The really useful thing about it is that the art Watson prizes as being exemplary is not (as you might think) dourly socialist plays about the collapse of the revolution, but free improvised music and modernist poetry. He seeks out the furiously atonal and the densely elliptical as counterforces to the ubiquitous blandness and mindlessness of modern music and literature. He is contemptuous about the mainstream culture heroes; Michael Nyman and Brian Eno, many people's idea of avant-garde artists, get brushed off in a couple of sentences. Watson's ideal contemporary poet is JH Prynne, who after years of small-press obscurity has only recently had a major collection brought out by a mainstream publisher in the UK. (And amazing stuff it is too.) I'm not qualified to critique Watson's ideas, but there's food for difficult thought here.
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