It was with some interest that I idled away a good chunk of yesterday afternoon reading and searching for some of the ether's various knitting blog comments and recent commentary about criticism and failure. I was reminded of Harold Clurman, a director who was part of the Group Theatre and whose work on stage, in film, and in print is part of the American theatre experience. A friend had a video document of a Harold Clurman's thoughts about directing and theatre, which I do think I need to find again. On the tape, Clurman challenges our collective habit of responding to a flop of a play by asking what went wrong. And people do seem to take offense that someone has created a flop - we've wasted money, we've wasted time, they've wasted efforts. There should only, we imply, be successes.
Clurman challenges the theatre to have more flops. How can you reach successful work if you aren't taking risks - if you aren't risking some failures?
Which is what the knittyboard threads about failure, the snarky comments on blogs with arch tones, and even the "ew, what tacky projects/yarns" photos and statements brought to mind. Me, I'm going to keep plugging away, failures and all. Sometimes things will work.
As for the vitriol, sometimes I listen to Rush L, just to hear another viewpoint. Sometimes I watch Joan R and the like to see what is deemed tacky. And then I weary of it and stop. But sometimes I wish I could have been Dorothy Parker. Just sometimes.