Manny Farber’s Writings

Writings

Farber’s legendary essay Termite Art vs White Elephant Art is a manifesto against the narcissism and smugness of “masterpiece art” with “smarmy compassions” and recognizable spectacle. It had a significant impact on both world cinema and contemporary art movements and has been embraced by a new generation of critics and writers.

In his writing, Farber developed a multi-focused and decentered prose style that made use of parody, allusions, fragmentation, and clashing dictions. He has been hailed by Susan Sontag as “the liveliest, smartest, most original film critic this country ever produced”, and by Peter Bogdanovich as “razor-sharp in his perceptions.” His unique use of everyday language takes on new relevance as social media has democratized cultural criticism and obliterated the critic’s gatekeeper role, requiring contemporary critics to engage in conversations with viewers/readers in new ways.

Manny Farber
Manny Farber Writings 01
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Book Page 01
Book Page 02