Taste

Chris Bertram has very good taste. My few dissents: Mac over PC, Eliot over Yeats, there’s nothing “annoying” about High Fidelity, and Manet over Monet either way. I don’t also don’t think the Tolstoy-Dostoevsky comparison can be made without some further specification of what we’re talking about. Tolstoy is, I think, the more consistently excellent author, but Dostoevsky soars to much higher heights of human achievement. Sometimes I feel that since a novelist is supposed to be writing novels not snatches of prose, that Dostoevsky’s genius-mixed-with-crappy-parts technique is cheating — Anna Karenina is, I think, a much better fully-realized work than, say, The Idiot — but on the other hand, the good parts of Dostoevsky just contain such a large portion of what needs to be said about humanity that it seems churlish to deny him.