‘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 that 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, music or whatever else springs to my mind at the time.
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 time between your lifespan and that of the artist you are trying to understand, the more likely it becomes that it will be strange to you since language constantly evolves.
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 things that are ugly – I am not here to discriminate but to share with you what I derive joy from.
I am writing this blog to share my readings of poems, novels, stories, theatre visits, 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.
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 happily living in London
- I’m a cat person
- I’m a great advocate of British cheese
- I’m a great advocate of French wine
- I enjoy pubs over clubs
- I’m an advocate of modernist literature
- I greatly enjoy Romantic music
- I grew up largely in Germany, although I’m British
- I regularly take walks through London and the countryside