The Nature of Art
To the Editor:
Roger Kimball’s “Clement Green-berg: An Appreciation” [September] came as a disappointment. Green-berg’s vaunted high seriousness and admirable powers of analysis notwithstanding, his work merits a greater disavowal than Mr. Kimball seemed able or willing to offer.
Identifying the fundamental cause of the disintegration that permeates and threatens to undermine our culture may be difficult, . . . but the idea that art need not contain recognizable subject matter is one sensible place from which to begin a diagnosis. Green-berg did not invent that notion, but his acceptance of it appears to have been unequivocal, and he is probably more closely identified with it than any other recent figure of such intellectual authority and acclaim.
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