from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The quality of being pretentious.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The quality of being pretentious; undue assumption of excellence, importance, or dignity.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. lack of elegance as a consequence of being pompous and puffed up with vanity
- n. the quality of being pretentious (behaving or speaking in such a manner as to create a false appearance of great importance or worth)
What I'm talking about when I say pretentiousness is that this entire post smacks of the type of review a reviewer makes to sound like they are "hip" and "with it."
On this level, however, the charge of pretentiousness is open to a number of challenges.
Since the vulgarity of the text or writer accused of pretentiousness is in direct proportion to the "difficulty", the accusation functions as an expression of anti-intellectualism.
Still at the stage where I'm not sure whether this is an actual story or just an exercise in pretentiousness.
Mr. Hope does have a point, though, about the pretentiousness, which is an obvious failing in White's fiction: The wonderfully rich and intricate structure of his last novel, Riders in the Chariot, was (for me, at least) harmed by the willful imposition of the chariot symbol.
If texts become more and more estranged from the current generation's readers general vocabularies, then could it be argued that perhaps "pretentiousness," in both its correct and misapplied forms might become more apparent?
As a parting gift, anyway, here's a little musical and televisual "pretentiousness" as illustration, in the form of Daisy Chainsaw and an interview with their singer, Katie Jane Garside, by Paul Morley.
They are nothing more then inconveniences to him that only matter if you lack the power to disregard and leap frog over all that 'pretentiousness'.
And yet two elements undercut the kind of pretentiousness that some critics dislike in Jerome Kern's artier numbers, such as "The Song Is You": the vaguely Latin beat keeps at least one foot of the music on the dance floor and out of the opera house, and the lyrics subtly (at first) let some fresh air into the hothouse.
Her fictional world is peopled with secondary characters who despise art and artifice, and any kind of pretentiousness or showing off.
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