Skip to content

against mediocrity.

1 Nov 2011

In the September issue of Bomb, there’s this great conversation between writers Jonathan Lethem and Geoff Dyer — you ought to read the thing in full — and near the end, Lethem makes an aside:  As Phillip Lopate said to me once, in a fit of annoyance over someone criticizing something wonderful for not being “transgressive”: “All excellence transgresses against mediocrity.”

And I sort of love that Lopate quote, not only because I think it’s true, but also because it serves as a standard against which to look at one’s own work.  The thing is, though, I’m feeling pretty mediocre right now about my photography, or maybe about photography in general, or well, maybe I’m just not sure.  Or maybe it’s because winter has come much too soon here to the city, and I feel like I never got to capture autumn properly, and now I’ll have to deal with staying warm and too many layers and all of that sort of thing. 

In any event, it seems rather silly to be sharing photographs that I don’t feel particularly inspired by, or at the very least, don’t feel are representative of who I am, or what I’m capable of.  Lord knows I don’t want this blog to be a diary of my photographic failings.  So!  Time to regroup, work on a few projects, maybe rethink what it is I want from doing any of this, and what it is I think is so important to share.  I just want to feel like I’m chipping away towards excellence, and not like I have plateaued at just fair to middling. 

I’d say something like: I’ll return when the new Google Reader lets me share links again!  But I’m not holding my breath about that, so expect to see me back some time before Thanksgiving, hopefully.  Fingers crossed.  Mediocrity is not a good place to be. 

[Above: June, Berlin, February 2009]

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sasha permalink
    13 Nov 2011 3:17 am

    That is a great and inspiring quotation, if intimidating. And I encourage your “regrouping” period if only because everyone needs one – but you have never been mediocre, ht.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: