Paul Fleming


On his book Exemplarity and Mediocrity: The Art of the Average from Bourgeois Tragedy to Realism

Cover Interview of July 23, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“How modern art embraces mediocre life without falling prey to it.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Literature reaches out to the middle class as its audience and subject matter, but excludes the average man as artist and only includes him as a critic and arbiter of taste under the strictest conditions.”

On the second:

“Goethe and Schiller view the rise of dilettantism not only as a new threat to art but also as a previously unheard-of possibility: the genuine aesthetic education of society.”