I have a twinge of panic, laced with guilt, when asked to judge if some piece of “art” — theater, writing, what have you — is “good.” I mean, what right have I? Also: I almost enjoy more seeing where someone tried, and didn’t quite land, as opposed to experiencing a seamless, which is usually soulless, product. So! Happy am I that this review of George Orwell‘s essays shores up my own feelings. His view of “good bad art” is that it “had the advantage of propagandizing for humble and obvious ideas rather than dangerous, overambitious ones. Good bad books are written by ‘natural novelists … who seem to attain sincerity partly because they are not inhibited by good taste.’ ”
Whew! I’m going to try to recycle that the next time I’m invited to a showcase of a new play presented in some blackbox theater in the hinterlands of downtown.