Features October 1987
The Tynan phenomenon
On Kenneth Tynan’s critical writing.
One of my unarguable postulates about aesthetics is that life mimics art, not art life.
—Kenneth Tynan, in He That Plays the King (1950)
Occupation: Opinion-monger, observer of artistic phenomena, amateur ideologue.
—Kenneth Tynan, in the Foreword to Tynan Right & Left (1967)
The word “art” is now really no use to me at all. . . . When I hear the word “art” now, I begin to yawn; to me, it’s somehow a cop-out word, a word to dodge and hedge with, a word that means something different in everyone’s mouth . . . . I’ve tried, in everything I’ve written over the last five years or so, to avoid using the word . . . .
—Kenneth Tynan, in The Sound of Two Hands Clapping (1975)
From time to time a critic emerges who may truly be said to personify a...
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