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CONTENTION BETWEEN TWO CRITICS ABOUT A DISAGREEABLE BEAUTY

Critic 1: It seems that we’re slated to disagree again. We just came away from a session with Joel Peter Witkin’s photographs, but it’s as if we had been at a movie, and as we left, looking into each other’s face, I saw in yours the wrong expression. I’m dumbfounded that you’re able to smile.

Critic 2: I know what you mean about the movie, because I’ve often sauntered out from one with friends and been astonished, in the light, that they were frowning. So many feuds start out that way, with a flick. Just when you think you know a person very well, it turns out that you don’t, especially when it comes to something as considerable as a taste preference. But I don’t want to make an issue of it. Witkin’s subject matter, alone, is so reflex-jabbing and sensational that I can well understand people recoiling from it. In any event, there’s much more to his work than subject, and, as I haven’t

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