12 November 2008

Age of Anxiety

by Dan Fox
Published in frieze Issue 114 April 2008

Would the critic be more productive writing in the morning rather than at night? Is the critic happy working at home, or do they prefer libraries and quiet caf├ęs? Are the critic’s interpretative faculties sharpened by strong coffee, or is the glass of cheap red they are drinking easing them into a suitable frame of mind? Does the critic feel that putting Gustav Mahler on the stereo has set the right mood for their task? Perhaps Jay-Z is better? Would the critic prefer to be writing on a Mac rather than their temperamental old PC? To what extent does the missing letter ‘q’ on the PC’s keyboard affect the critic’s choice of words? Is the Internet a constant distraction for the critic? As the critic once again consults Wikipedia, does a small voice in their head chide them for losing touch with traditional research skills? How heavily does the anxiety of influence weigh on the critic?