Popular Culture

I wondered why the consumers of victorious products were so fierce and intolerant. I had encountered the same aggressive tone, the same readiness for a fight to the end, each time I had expressed doubt in the value of any work which has millions of devotees. What is it that unites the million-strong army of lovers of The Alchemist so firmly and so easily divides the small group of lovers of Bohumil Hrabal? What is it that drives millions of people to shed tears as they watch Titanic, and drives a lunatic to deface a well-known painting in a Dutch museum? What is it that drives millions of people all over the world to weep for Lady Di, but to be indifferent when their next-door neighbor dies? I think I know the answer, but I would prefer to keep quiet, for the answer makes me tremble with terror.

“I know perfectly well that the book is shit,” said a friend of mine, a teacher of literature at a European university, about some book. “But I looooove it!” he howled, drawing out the “o.”

“Americans love junk. It’s not the junk that bothers me, it’s the love,” said George Santayana. He said it at a time when he did not yet know that we were all one day going to become Americans.

Dubravka Ugresic

[x]#374 fan zondag 25 januari 2004 @ 20:22:32

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