i Editor's Letter: This is not a taste matter


Click to follow
The Independent Online


i is one of the proud sponsors of this year's Brighton Fringe, which starts tomorrow. We are involved with a literary salon there at Hendrick's Library of Delightfully Peculiar Writings on Thursday 24 May at 6pm. It is hosted by Damian Barr and will feature Alex Preston and JoJo Moyes. We have 20 pairs of tickets on offer, first-come, first-served. Email i@independent.co.uk with the word "Brighton" in the header.

Yesterday's letter on bullying touched a nerve. It is a subject we clearly need to return to. In the meantime, if there is anyone out there silently suffering, and too afraid to do anything about it, tell someone you can trust. It will get better from that moment on.

One of the bullies' defences is to claim it "is only a joke". This is an approach The Sun has taken this week in the wake of its clunky Roy Hodgson front page. It muddies the bullying waters by linking abuse to "taste". It is not that hard really: if the bully is in a much stronger position than the victim, (or in a pack) and if the victim is not in on the so-called "joke", then it is not a joke, it is bullying.

This is not a taste matter. But, if you'll excuse the horrible leap, The Scream is. One version of Edvard Munch's famous image sold at Sotheby's New York this week for £74m, a new world record for a work of art. Is it worth it? See our debate (p25). For so many who have it on a wall as a poster or on a T-shirt, it captures the angst of modern life, perhaps like no other work of art. It suffers, like the Mona Lisa, the only more recognisable "painting" (The Scream sold was a pastel) from its populist ubiquity.

Snobbery? In the art world? Then again, what do I know?