The West Is Normative!

Okay, brace yourselves, people. A Detritus Review first time ever: ballet!

Now, I don't really know anything about ballet, but I know a little something about hierarchies.

In a nice review of Tchaikovsky's ballet Eugene Onegin, Molly Glentzer writes (Houston Chronicle):

The quotation printed in Russian on the front scrim for Houston Ballet's Onegin says, "If I am without honor, honor does not exist."

Confession: I had to look up "scrim". (Also, that sounds like Klingon. Honor! and Glory!)

It's taken from the unfinished narrative poem of the same name by Russian literary icon Alexander Pushkin, who's been called that country's William Shakespeare.

Surely, surely we would never say that Shakespeare is the Pushkin of England.

How about: Japan is the England of Asia!

(Although his romantic sensibilities are more like those of his contemporary Lord Byron.)

Byron's sensibilities are more like those of Pushkin than of Shakespeare. No? Why?

Clearly comparisons can be helpful to describe things; obviously comparisons to the familiar make sense. But it seems to me Pushkin can be considered in his own right at this point.


Debuting as Tatiana, Herrera is the Audrey Hepburn of ballerinas — intelligent, lyrical, sensitive and sincere.

I don't really even know what to do with that. That could just as well describe James Joyce.

Ah, well. Here's a picture of Derrida that is fun to look at.


Anonymous said...

Comparisons. . . . are. . . . . odious. . . . . . Molly knows this. . . . and continues the practice anyway. . . . . . . how's come?

Sator Arepo said...

Comparisons are not necessarily odious...I just found this one telling vis-a-vis bias, intentional or not.

Too much?

Anonymous said...

It's never too much to point out bias. . . . keep it up. . . .this is a delightfully well written blog.