‘Journalism is unreadable, and literature is unread.’
Oscar Wilde’s insight from 130 years ago rings even truer today than it did during his age. In our daily lives, we are frequently confronted with a tidal wave of news reports – whether on television, online or in a good old-fashioned newspaper. Literature, classical music and the visual arts, on the other hand, are barely appreciated. And this although nowadays, apparently, everyone and their mother claims to be a ‘poet’, a ‘writer’, an ‘artist’.
But if everyone is so concerned with producing art, why doesn’t anyone read the classics? Listen to Romantic music? Visit art galleries which aren’t impressionistic (and thus mainstream)?
The most common complaint is that it is difficult. And of course – it is! Maybe. It can be. At times. The trick is to know how to approach it – and to realise that no reading of a work of art is necessarily true; subjective approaches and personal responses are perfectly acceptable.
And that is where this blog comes into the picture. Without claiming to have absolute knowledge of the things I will share with you, it is my wish to help you, dear reader, to experience the world of beauty once again – in literature, paintings, films, or music.
There’s nothing snobbish about liking ‘the classics’. Yes, they can be difficult to understand sometimes, because a lot of them are old – and the longer the distance between you and the artist you are trying to understand, the more likely it becomes that it will be strange to you.
But with a little patience, anyone can learn to enjoy the things which have inspired many great writers, composers, and artists throughout the centuries. And yes: appreciating the beauty of art can also include popular culture, or at times even the ugly – I am not here to discriminate but to share with you what I derive joy from.
My name is Michael, and I would like to spread my enthusiasm. I am writing this blog to share my readings of poems, novels, stories, theatre visits (provided I can afford them in London!), films, works of art, music, and more. And, as a would-be writer myself, I will also share my own creative work at times, as well as more general stuff.
But I also realise that providing you with readings might not be worth much without advice on how to read. There are many aspects which I find people struggle with, preventing them from enjoying the arts – and that is a great pity. I will therefore also write guides which I would have liked to have myself when I started studying the arts many years ago.
I am also open to commissions. If you would like me to give a reading on something, review a book or a film, translate something (German-English or vice versa) etc., I am willing to consider it. If this is the case, please send me a message via the contact form and we can talk about it. You can also find me on facebook if necessary.
Who is this blog for?
This site is for those who wish to enjoy art for its own sake. Those who want to achieve better knowledge of ‘the classics’, but don’t know where to begin. Those who are forced to read things they may not like (at school, for instance), and are looking for ways to get to grips with the material. It is foremost for those who want to improve their understanding of the arts and see what all the fuss is about.
It is not for academics seeking new insight from a particularly new point of view. I provide readings based on my own feeling, focusing on what we can find in the texts, not by adopting a particular perspective other than my own. It is for those with a love of the arts – for the sake of loving art.
A few random facts about myself
- I’m 28 years young
- I’m happily living in London
- I’m a cat person, although they can be a nightmare
- I’m a great fan of British cheese
- I’m a great fan of French wine
- I’m a great fan of pubs and everything to do with them
- I’m a great fan of modernist literature
- I’m a great fan of Romantic music
- I’m a fan of most types of films – except for romantic comedies
- I grew up largely in Germany, although I’m British
- I regularly take walks through London and the British countryside
- As you can see, my girlfriend is wonderful at taking pictures of me