29 June 2005

is art history different from lit history?

Several days in Seattle this week—very nice. Oddly, however, little access to the internet. I'm all for the internet being free—in your local coffee shop, in your other local coffee shop, in the mall, in the grocery store, in the airport and of course, in your home as you steal it from your neighbor. However, I do wish those free internets would be a bit more reliable, no? Especially in Seattle, right?

And as I've reconnected with the web here in Redlands (yes, we're here for a few days to survey the wreckage of our broken-in-to storage unit), I've been pondering Greg's challenge:

...why art history vs. why literature? Does the choice/decision come down to a matter of learning styles (textual vs. visual)? Does it come down to a matter of cultural import (i.e. I [may] believe that the textual is more important/effective/stirring than the visual)? Does is come down to economics?

Partly learning style comes into play, at least in the initial stages, and certainly crucial moments of professorial influence shape your future interests. But I think it's all the same. I enjoy reading/reading literature, I use it in my writing and read it to help me read the visual, and I know many folks in English that do the same. In some ways I feel more comfortable writing about text, perhaps because I know less about doing it and thus feel less inhibited by artificial boundaries felt by those within the discipline. My interest in music also allows me to have certain insights/appreciation for art/literature. The artificial distinction between studying architecture, music, art, text, performance—it seems to me to be artificial more than distinction.

And let's face it, television is much more important than either Art or Literature, right?

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