Roger Scruton’s written a book on beauty, in case you hadn’t heard. Here’s a nice little review, which frames the beauty question evocatively enough in terms of beauty’s relation, or antagonism, to kitsch. And so I ask: if beauty is the promise of happiness, is the problem with kitsch that it’s the guarantee of happiness — a smaller, less audacious, less burdensome variety of happiness, happiness that asks, and demands, less of us?

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