Pretentiousness: Why It Matters by Dan Fox
In this brilliant and passionate book, Dan Fox argues that pretentiousness has always been an essential mechanism of the arts, from music to literature and the visual arts.
Author: Dan Fox
Available Now, paperback, Fitzcarraldo editions
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“Dan Fox makes a very good case for a re-evaluation of the word “pretentious”. The desire to be more than we are shouldn’t be belittled. Meticulously researched, persuasively argued – where would we be as a culture if no-one was prepared to risk coming across as pretentious? Absolument nowhere, darling – that’s where.” Jarvis Cocker
What is pretentiousness? Why do we despise it? And, more controversially: why is it vital to a thriving culture? In this book Dan Fox argues that it has always been an essential mechanism of the arts, from the most wildly successful pop music and fashion through to the most recondite avenues of literature and the visual arts. Pretentiousness: Why It Matters unpacks the uses and abuses of the term, tracing its connections to theatre, politics and class. From method acting to vogueing balls in Harlem, from Brian Eno to normcore, Fox draws on a wide range of references in advocating critical imagination and open-mindedness over knee-jerk accusations of elitism or simple fear of the new and different. Drawing on his own experiences growing up and working at the more radical edges of the arts, this book is a timely defence of pretentiousness as a necessity for innovation and diversity in our culture.