Those Who Look Not To Like – “Juliet” & Literary Snobbery

God knows I think there is a distinction between good art and bad.

Even so, I find artistic elitists, who snub as “sell-outs” anyone who drifts too far from the cleverly esoteric, to be tediously transparent in their attempt to arrogate the status of Alpha Tribe in whatever cultural kingdom they’re raising colors over.

At the Wall Street Journal, Juliet author Anne Fortier challenges the prejudices of such “literature snobs” who sniff in disdain at anything “commercial” or “ambitious.”

Although her critique does lean a bit far to the right for my radically anti-partisan tastes (characterizing public spending in a democracy as “dish[ing] out other people’s money” …. really?) it is a fun read that bops the upturned noses of the literary aristoi.


Extra points to the first commenter to accurately explain the title.

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  1. It’s the comment from Romeo & Juliet, of course, aimed at those who don’t look for looking sake but look to be seen looking (if that makes sense).

    Juliet: “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move.”

  2. Tomi wins!

    That’s one of my favorite lines in that play because it so succinctly captures the familial pressures on Juliet, foreshadows the failure of her looking to like (it was Paris she was looking to like, which neatly reverses the dynamic in the Iliad!), and presents a very sophisticated psychological proposition related to instinct and free will.

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