Viewing everything posted on January 28, 2013

Is there a rule for when is the aesthetics of having a bad personality aggravating and when not? Like, not aggravating: TS Eliot, Archer, Peep Show, Cecilia’s novel, some Dylan, A Portrait of the Artist/early Ulysses, the Pixies, John Cale. Aggravating: Lowell, Girls, N+1 people novels, ‘Why?’, Berryman, Of Montreal, some Dylan, most Lou Reed. The items on the second list have various merits that I would have appreciated if it wasn’t for being aggravated, so it’s not strictly about having other merits… Here’s one possibility: it’s aggravating when there’s a sense that the writer thinks their (or their stand-in’s or protagonist’s or whatever) bad personality makes them unique and interesting individuals, and not aggravating when it’s more like an Everyman type situation.