Monday, January 22, 2018

Aging Writers 3

This was not entirely new. Advertising goes back to the 19th century. One of my two favorite Dorothy Sayers' novels is set in an advertising agency in the 1930s. But as people got enough, more money had to be spent convincing them to buy more. This society of newness, of constant revolution (in style, if not substance) does not leave much place for the elderly.

More on change: "Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind."

This was written before advertising got serious. Now, instead of facing one's real conditions of life, one can play a video game or go to the mall and buy more clothes.

I seem to be saying that cutting edge art is the art of capitalism. I'm not sure I want to say that. I think it's time to read something old: either Sayers' Murder Must Advertise or Jane Austen.


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