Invitation to a dispute

On the Origin of Good Taste

If you have every asked yourself what constitutes so-called "good taste," you are sure to eventually encounter lofty descriptions of noble simplicity and serene grandeur ; perhaps they were elevated to a dogma by an old authority or even thrown into the arena by a self-proclaimed judge of art. Nothing with style should allow itself to be kneaded into the generally-accepted dough (for then it is Kitsch ); nor should it drift too far from the standard gruel and burgeon uncontrollably (for then it a festering boil in need of being summarily lanced). However much effort you make and search for fundamental definitions, an overly-eager sophist is sure to interrupt you and tell you that you are suffering not from a lack of taste, but rather from the wrong taste.

A simple example: Imagine a scene in front of the central glass case in a museum or at some other place with an artistic atmosphere: In this glass case, there is a heavily-guarded object made of stone, with a small, difficult-to-read plaque at the base: A beautiful woman with a friendly face who is herding a bothersome cricket. The hook-shaped, green-carapaced creature has been resisting the clumsy gestures of its mistress for some time, and it only unwillingly allows her to watch over it.

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