Third Article

Whether kitsch should be taught?

We proceed thus to the third article:--

Objection 1. It seems that kitsch is not taught in universities or the schools, and should not be, for it is not a single unifiable ontological category, and thus cannot be restricted to a single disciplinary regimen. Kitsch is connected with inside jokes, whims of the moment, flashes in the pan, fleeting banal experiences of invisible and eminently forgettable individual readers and viewers. Kitsch is offensive. There could never be a unified body of knowledge about kitsch, nor could there be a university department or endowed chair of kitsch.

Reply to objection 1. If kitsch were adequately theorized, e.g. analyzed into its immediate constituents and distributed across the curriculum, it could fit into existing disciplinary categories. One could imagine three-hour lectures on kitsch in which students sat in stunned silence while the professor pinned their ears back with his brilliance. One could imagine a subcategory for kitsch under every primary category in the Dewey Decimal System. And what is offensive is tolerable so long as it's sanitized or anesthetized with theory.

Reply to reply to objection 1. But that would unkitschify kitsch, and thus render it toothless as an excluded category, as that which defines art by being banished from it. Would kitsch taught at a university not in fact become, by definition, high art?

Reply to reply to reply to objection 1. Yeah, that might happen; or, worse (or better, depending on who you talk to), it might kitschify existing disciplinary categories and thus ultimately precipitate the demise of the university as it's known.

Reply to reply to reply to reply to objection 1. That's what we're shootin for, bud. Just call us demise-precipitators.

Reply to reply to reply to reply to reply to objection 1. What then--work for a living?

Proceed to the Fourth Article.

Regress to childhood.

Regress to the age of 13.

Regress to the Articles screen.

Copyright the Mullah Dougbill