We founded Neu Neu Kritik in the summer of 2001, on a few basic, sensible tenets that we felt the larger cultural and critical movements had forgotten. We looked for inspiration to the late forties and early fifties, when a text was a text, literary criticism was important and occasionally heroic, and "literature" was a substantial and relevant term.
We look there for inspiration but not for purpose: we are not a reactionary movement. To wit: tenets 1 & 2:
1) The distinction between "form" & "function" is meaningless.
That one's gotten some play before, but it's pretty useful. We'll explore it over the next little while.
What about this one?
2) There's not enough whimsy in criticism.
I say so sincerely. Life is inherently absurd; criticism is annoyingly, irrelevantly self-important. If we want to make criticism relevant, we must never lose sight of that absurdity. The opposite, in fact: we write to keep that absurdity at bay. It's good for all of us - reader and writer alike - to acknowledge occasionally, with a laugh and a wary eye cast to the right, the Beast standing just off stage. Whimsy keeps us grounded.
This is going to be fun, I think.