Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Measuring Value

I guess this is an age old question, but what makes a piece of art 'good'? By art I mean a painting, a book, a piece of music. Things that to my mind are measured subjectively. If I like it, is it good? If most people like it, is it good? If important people like it, is it good? I mean publishers trashed Harry Potter - and yet it has sold like crazy. And actually, I think (like I count!), the books are good - especially the first two.
Why doesn't popular opinion define the value of art? Why do 'experts' define it?
Why will I, quite probably, not really enjoy some 'popular fiction'?
But then I don't enjoy some books that experts call good. Although I guess I would find merit in reading them, even if I had to struggle through.
As I write this, some answers do start coming to mind. Maybe I'll write another post when I've thought about it some more.


Thomas O. Scarborough said...

I think we should vote on this. ;-)

Steven Jones said...

Hi Jen

I agree - some of my favourite movies were panned by the critics. It might have something to do with the fact that I don't smoke Cuban cigars or drink Bourbon, perhaps?

Thomas, beware of calling for votes. On a matter like this, democracy may represent three wolves and one sheep voting on what's for lunch!

Besides, as far as I am concerned, everybody is entitled to my opinion... :-)

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi Thomas - very funny! Thanks

Hi Steven - my problem is that I tend to agree with the 'experts'. But I'm not sure if I've been brainwashed!