Is the point you’re making different from the point I discuss in the section “All Great Nonsense Was Misunderstood in Its Day”? The fact that great art was often met with bafflement in the past is certainly a reason for me to take seriously the hypothesis that my current bafflement is mistaken — but it’s certainly not decisive reason to believe this hypothesis.

You say that bafflement was the response “quite frequently about some of what we today might consider heralded works.” How do you know just how frequently it actually was? Art history doesn’t teach us about the works which were baffling in their day and have stayed baffling until they were forgotten — so how can you be sure that there weren’t actually many more of those than of the once-baffling, now-revered masterpieces?

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Staff writer at Rabbit Hole Magazine. Harvard PhD. Want to video chat about one of my articles? Pick a slot at

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