I chose to look at the Huntly Carter article, “The Golden Age,” which was an attempt to define “Art” as a concept and even make a point about the dangers of it becoming too academic. Carter was a British journalist and critic of the performing and visual arts, particularly during World War One. While little is known about Carter’s personal life, we know that he received training in the medical field, but he worked predominantly as a journalist and theater critic (Source).
The paper is written in an interesting way, percolated with rhetorical questions throughout, and while Carter attempts to define Art, he is not overly exertive with his definition. He states “I would define it as an activity, which is called vibrative force. The beginning of Art is life; the end of Life is Art.” This is a very abstract definition, but he then goes on to explain how he views art as something of a web that is interwoven between all aspects of life, connecting everything and serving as something of an adhesive that makes the world go ‘round.
One word that stands out in the paper (I know this is beyond obvious, but hear me out) is Art. “Art” is always capitalized in the essay, and it is used as several different things: an idea, a hobby, a concept, a savior, and even a giver of life. Carter is not saying that art is for certain all of these things, but he poses many hypotheticals to build his argument about it – defining art and looking at what it is, and what it isn’t. This is very similar to how we discussed archives in class on Tuesday, September 22nd, going as far as to muse whether or not a chair was an archive. Being able to use the term “Art” so freely really allows for a greater argument, so that is most likely why Carter did this. Additionally, Carter’s use of first person pronouns stood out to me as well, because it seemed to help relate the reader directly to him.