One function of art is to de-kitschify kitsch. It can do this by the rousing call, the authentic sentiment, something perceived for the first time. But more often, and more mysteriously, it takes the situation that is, has been, and will again be kitsch, and purifies it by some complex alchemy of its own.
"Do you know the meaning of the word 'kitsch'?" I said.
"I wrote a book called Kitsch," she said.
"I read it," said Celeste. "It's about a girl whose boyfriend tried to make her think she has bad taste, which she does -- but it doesn't matter much."
"You don't call these pictures of little girls on swings serious art?" jeered Mrs. Berman. "Try thinking what the Victorians thought when they looked at them, which was how sick or unhappy so many of these happy, innocent little girls would be in just a little while -- diphtheria, pneumonia, smallpox, miscarriages, violent husbands, poverty, widowhood, prostitution -- death and burial in potter's field."
“I have noticed more than once in life that a taste for the ineffably twee can go hand-in-hand with a distinctly uncharitable outlook on the world,” Rowling writes in her Pottermore essay, recalling a time when she shared an office with a woman fond of “pictures of fluffy kitties”, who was also “the most bigoted, spiteful champion of the death penalty”.
“A love of all things saccharine often seems present where there is a lack of real warmth or charity,” Rowling writes, adding that Umbridge was “one of the characters for whom I feel the purest dislike”
kitsch : sentimentality :: HFCS : sugar cane,
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