I’ve got a new article up over at Ethos Review on “Donna Tartt and Dandyism: Lessons from The Goldfinch on the Art of Personal Style,” that I thought might be of interest to some of our readers into either fiction or clothes.
there is not the Donna Tartt who authored The Goldfinch and the one with a high fashion sense who likes to wear bold colored Turnbull & Asser shirts and ties . These two Donna Tartt’s are one in the same: the woman is a dandy, and it’s these same elements of her personal style that show up full-force in her serious work championing artistic vision as a way of life …
The dandy, according to Glenn O’Brien, “applies everything we have learned about aesthetics and from philosophy to our persons and to our environments.” What interests me about The Goldfinch, then, is not merely a Nietzschean aestheticism about the value of art. It is, rather, Tartt’s defense of the modern dandy, her case for style as noble art. Art makes meaning – and this is why you’ll find Donna Tartt in a custom suit at four in the morning. She loves beautiful things, whether anyone else sees it or not.