It’s spring in the United States, which of course means another translated volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle. It’s hard to imagine what we’ll do, in 2018, when there is no more Knausgaard left to wildly celebrate or mock as pretentious. Thankfully, in the interim, we have a range of worthy fiction and nonfiction, including Dan Fox’s excellent book on the very idea of pretentiousness, to pull us through.
Pretentiousness: Why It Matters, Dan Fox, (April 5, Coffee House Press)
There is no getting around it: calling someone “pretentious” is usually meant to start a fight. But it doesn’t haven’t to be so. In this wide-ranging study, Fox, the editor of Frieze, reclaims pretentiousness as a generative force in contemporary art.