chapter  20
Collecting the shape of things to come
Pages 22

The plot thickens when the more subjective criteria are bought into the story. We privilege 'age' as against 'newness' in objects, counting something which has been around for some time as of more significance than something newly made. But how old is old? A range of relative answers can be given to this question depending upon taste and circumstance. Questions of aesthetic value in relation to 'ordinary' value, or intellectual value in relation to 'uninteresting', are even more difficult. All of these questions can only be answered at all, no matter how inadequately, by reference to 'classic values' or 'understood criteria', all of which depend upon narrative descriptions about the cultural authenticity of fidelity to 'best traditions', which is another way of saying that we attribute value to those things which make us feel comfortable.