Art and commerce

I heard Jonathan Safran Foer on City Arts and Lectures. His latest book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, is about a boy who lost his father in the World Trade Center attack.

During the interview there was a question of how people have reacted to some of the things in his book. He does a couple of things in the book that "poke at the unhealed wound of 9/11" according to Linda Hunt. He said that he has got a lot of positive feedback, but he has also got negative feedback. Some people just do not want to see him cover the subject matter of the World Trade Center Attacks. He gets the feeling that they do not want art to look at this at all. They feel offended by any artist depicting the attack.

He thinks this is because people see art as a luxury and not as a necessary like journalism or Politics. He thinks that art is part of our understanding of these events just like Journalism or Politics. The collapse of the World Trade Center is a hard thing to look back at and that is why we should look back at it. It will help us understand it.

I think that there is a different reason for some people objecting. I think that the line between Art and Commerce as become very blurred. Once people see art as commerce it is easy to think they are exploiting 9/11. I think that this is why non-fiction and journalism gets off much easier then fiction when it comes to events like 9/11. I think we still need more time before it is easier to live with art about the event.


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