February 23, 2018

The Joy of Fan Conventions

Anyone who has participated in a comic book or sci-fi convention will know precisely what Walter Benjamin is talking about below. Joy is tangible. Affectations are few. You and your friends are discussing the most important things:

"The reactionary attitude toward a Picasso painting changes into the progressive reaction toward a Chaplin movie. The progressive reaction is characterized by the direct, intimate fusion of visual and emotional enjoyment with the orientation of the expert. Such a fusion is of great social significance. The greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form, the sharper distinction between criticism and enjoyment by the public. The conventional is uncritically enjoyed, and the truly new is criticized with aversion." From "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936).