Waging war on clichés | The Plan
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Waging war on clichés


Europa | Cirié

When asked to define art, Joseph Brodsky answered that art was simply a tireless war against the cliché. But clichés are sly things. Like the devil, clichés pretend they do not exist. Put differently, clichés know that the best way to survive is to pose as an absolute novelty. An example is the glittering avant-garde of the last century, initially exalted and then disparaged, a fate that brings to mind Leo Longanesi’s remark that nothing is more repetitive than the avant-garde. Never was a truer word spoken. So what weapons do we have to fight the cliché, an enemy not only of art but of life itself? The answer lies in the tactics we adopt in this war. Again it was also Joseph Brodsky, speaking at an American university during the 1970s at the peak of the student protests, who invited his audience to be truly anti-conformist and discard their...

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