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05 August 2014 @ 02:50 pm
another "relatable" essay  
This one by Rebecca Mead in the New Yorker, inspired by Ira Glass' tweeting that Shakespeare wasn't relatable:

The Scourge of "Relatability"

Key quotations:

"The concept of identification implies that the reader or viewer is, to some degree at least, actively engaged with the work in question: she is thinking herself into the experience of the characters on the page or screen or stage.

But to demand that a work be 'relatable' expresses a different expectation: that the work itself be somehow accommodating to, or reflective of, the experience of the reader or viewer. The reader or viewer remains passive in the face of the book or movie or play: she expects the work to be done for her."

"...to reject any work because we feel that it does not reflect us in a shape that we can easily recognize—because it does not exempt us from the active exercise of imagination or the effortful summoning of empathy—is our own failure. It’s a failure that has been dispiritingly sanctioned by the rise of 'relatable.' "
negothicknegothick on August 5th, 2014 10:05 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, that arbiter of taste Ira Glass, whose voice arouses such irritation in me that when it comes on the radio, I'm forced to hit the "Power Off" button.