Pretentiousness: Why It Matters
Just as living organisms evolve with time, so do ideas, customs, language and all aspects of culture. I thought I understood the term ‘pretentiousness’ as referring to behavior that is ostentatious, or acting with exaggerated importance, or being someone other than yourself. In this series of essays, British writer and filmmaker, Dan Fox assigns a different connotation and importance to the term. The inclusion of the term ‘pretentiousness’ within his lexicon refers to creative risk within the arts, theater, music, filmmaking and in the expressionistic realm. David Bowie serves as a model for pretentiousness with his imaginatively innovative and shockingly spectacular performances that enhanced communication with the masses.
For myself, I translate this artistic pretentiousness as a form of what is commonly spoken of as creative drive, or what can be referred to as the authenticity of the individual seeking satisfaction and fulfillment. Apparently this mutated word has been adopted to refer to one’s reaching beyond oneself, and with new philosophical implications restricted to the cultural arts. To avoid discordance and confusion, the author might pretentiously compose a new word to represent this inspirational magic. Might a scientist, or a dictator driven by overconfidence be considered pretentious. Would Donald Trump fit the pretentious role?
Coffee House Press