Hi, in the Documents section of Blackboard, you will find Clement Greenberg’s 1939 essay “Avant-Garde and Kitsch.” You don’t need to read through it with immense concentration (and you only need to read up to page 20), just skim through and make sure you understand the basic concepts, then answer the following questions (you may post as a direct answer to my questions or as a discussion or response to your classmates, if you choose the latter, indicate whose post you are responding to by writing their first name in the subject line of your post):
- In your opinion, is his perception of high and low art correct to some degree? If yes, why so? If not, why not? Is high art any more valuable that “low” or “mass” art? Or are they both significant in different ways? If high art is the peak of any one artistic genius at a given time, can mass art then not be considered the marker of a collective whole, an entire population, at a moment in history?
- Osmu Tezuka believed comics are a bridge between cultures and often dabbled into adaptations of classic literature into manga. His assumption was that this is an effective way to bring ideas to individuals incapable of accessing them otherwise. However, something else may be at play here as well. If comics are a universal language, does their adaptation of literature then in turn make the literature more universal and more easily understood through comics? For instance, there are certain specificities in local cultures, ways of expression, phrases, traditions, modes of thinking, etc., which are actually quite difficult to reconcile with to someone from a profoundly different culture. But, because of the ‘placeless’ nature of comics, or rather cartoons who have no distinct features bound to any locale, does that make the work itself more easy to assimilate and even agree with, despite cultural differences? Does it become easier to appreciate a foreign culture through comics? Does the universality of cartoons in turn succeed in presenting an accurate portrayal of a different culture or not or does it create an unrealistic illusion?