But there are only good and bad works of art, not inherently good and bad genres of art. As Clement Greenberg puts it: “One cannot validly be for or against any particular body of art in toto. One can only be for good or superior art as against bad or inferior art. One is not for Chinese, or Western, or representational art as a whole, but only for what is good in it.” By the same token, one cannot be for or against all naturalistic novels, science fiction, horror, Westerns, romance novels, or even comic books, but must learn to distinguish the good from the bad in each of these genres–which is not to say that all genres are equally filled with treasure at all moments in history.
The meaning of being might even be defined as untranslatability. Language (and everything else) is obliged to become an art of allusion or indirect speech, a metaphorical bond with a reality that cannot possibly be made present. Realism does not mean that we are able to state correct propositions about the real world. Instead, it means that reality is too real to be translated without remainder into any sentence, perception, practical action, or anything else.