RARA-AVIS: Re: Craftsman and artist (was: THE PULP JUNGLE -1967)

From: Etienne Borgers ( wbac1203@wanadoo.be)
Date: 16 Feb 2003

I agree with Mario, craftsman takes very quickly a condescending tone when used in analysis by most of the critics.

Slightly off-topic, I can't resist to recall here an authentic story, wherein the supposed victim should have been one of my close friends, a comics creator - his best and most successful series is well-known over Continental Europe for years.
  Years ago, for the launching of one of his comic books, a critic (holding a regular chronicle about comics and pop lit in a major newspaper)said about this comic artist
"XX is a likeable craftsman without any particular genius..." Well, XX from that moment included the formulaic judgement of the critic on his namecard, which since years now holds only the formula besides his name and address, and no profession. When asked why he did this, XX answered that the formula was a good shortening of his goals and that it was rather flattering for someone to be recognized with these qualities, as there are so many artists posing as geniuses or as an elite, and are just sh..

The critic, I was told later, was embarrassed, and now he always denies he was at the origin of the formula (as his article was published a long time ago).

E.Borgers HARD-BOILED MYSTERIES http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6384

At 12:04 15-02-03 -0800, Mario Taboada wrote:
>But "craftsman" has been used by critics as a demeaning
>term for a long, long time.
>When I was a kid, and already a fan of J.B. Priestley, I
>would get incensed when critics called him a "skillful
>craftsman". Now I am amused, though I carefully avoid using
>it when writing criticism. It's a good word that has been
>spoiled by misuse and overuse.
>Oh, the other day some radio DJ called trumpeter Clark
>Terry a "gifted craftsman", "like Ruby Braff". OK.


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