Too Smart for Art?

Roland Barthes wrote of the death of the author in the late-60’s by which he meant that the content of a particular work, be it literary or some other medium, bares not relation to its author but to its beholder. Is this still true? It appears to this dirty hipster that the massive circulation and consumption of media that has rapidly grown over the past forty-or-so years points at an attempt to revive the author. That is, we no longer look to consume the content but we aim to consume its creator. Television, fan pages, Facebook, Twitter and the like allow consumers to build seemingly personal relationships with those in whom he/she chooses to become invest interest. Such an illusion of a personal relationship precludes the delivery of a message. When Shakespeare wrote of passion, he surely did not intend to invite an investigation into his motivation, but simply sought to catalyze a response within the soul of the reader. Such unfettered delivery is simply impossible nowadays. So, in an age where the author has been shoved to the front of the stage, accompanied secondarily buy his work, can a pure work of art actually exist?

The defining characteristic of man, that one thing that separates us from the animals, is the ability to conceive of and create his own evolution. Indeed, man has evolved a great deal in the last 150 years – not to mention the last several-thousand – but no item is bought without a cost. And, so, it seems to this dirty hipster, that we have exchanged our art, our passion, our final vestige of purity, for knowledge. Even trade or raw deal? Either way, we’re stuck with it. No re-gifting this one this holiday season. -DFH


2 Responses to “Too Smart for Art?”

  1. The Unhappy Mediator Says:

    But who is the author anymore? Certainly the author of a post on or the “author” of a spot on TMZ is of little to no importance to the reader/viewer in the grand scheme of the scoop. Who cares who wrote what about Tiger; we just care about the juice, don’t we? And yet it’s not Tiger who, through facebook and twitter and commercials, is the author of his own identity. It’s a PR machine, an ad agency, an assistant hired to update and tweet on his behalf. Moreover, it’s the audience’s insatiable thirst for intimate but ultimately worthless details which creates the vacuum that draws forth the interminable information deluge. Perhaps we, the consumers, have in essence become the authors of our own consumption. Fucking meta.

  2. dirtyfuckinghipster Says:

    I think I was just really high when I wrote this

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