On the Hatred of Literature

Jon Baskin at The Point:

Perhaps no figure better illustrates the style and stakes of the hatred of literature, as it has filtered from academia into contemporary literary culture, than the American author Ben Lerner. Lerner, recently described in the New York Times as “the most talented writer of his generation,” was known for advertising his suspicion of aesthetic experience even before he published a book called The Hatred of Poetry in 2016. “I had long worried that I was incapable of having a profound experience of art,” says Adam Gordon, the college-age narrator of Lerner’s 2011 debut novel Leaving the Atocha Station, upon encountering a man crying before a painting at a museum in Madrid, “and I had trouble believing that anyone had. … I was intensely suspicious of people who claimed a poem or painting or piece of music ‘changed their life.’”

more here.