Good vs. Bad vs. What

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April 26, 2013 by admin

… in dealing with new things there is a question that precedes that of good or bad. I refer to the question, ‘What is it?’ — the question of identity. To answer this question in such a way as to distinguish between a real novelty and fake one is itself an evaluation, perhaps the primary one for criticism in this revolutionary epoch when art, ideas, mass movements, keep changing their nature, so that their most familiar features are often the most misleading.

Harold Rosenberg, 1960 preface to The Tradition of the New

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