Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I must say that if there is any field of endeavor that gives rise to more utterly inane commentary than the martial arts, it's art criticism. Take this randomly selected gem from Artcritical.com:

Paine manages to steer these leafless “Dendroids,” as he calls them, between the Scylla of transparency and the Charibdis of mechanization, unyielding hazards to authorship of his own contrarian devising established by two other families of sculpture. On one side are Paine’s “Replicants,” portraits of notorious, untrustworthy plants and fungi fixed in eternal plastic with an exegetical fidelity to surpass the craftsmanship of the best diorama and Hollywood prop technicians.

This reminds me of a short story by Max Beerbohm, Enoch Soames, about the author of a slim volume of verse titled Fungoids. Much concerned with his own literary legacy, Soames sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for the chance to travel to the future and search for his own name in the British Museum Library. He discovers that he has been remembered only as a "third-rate poet" in a short story by Max Beerbohm.

I see no reason to suspect the allusion was intentional.


  1. "[It] is a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered."

    Does this make more sense as a description of the art world, or the martial art world?

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