What is art? Does it have to be part of some exhibition in a museum? Does it have to be considered ‘good taste’ to be called art or is it simply enough that it is provoking? No matter what you may reply to such questions, your answer can always be discussed. Some art can astonish people in many ways and make them think about society, war the world and their lives, and some sorts of art will bring the question ‘what is art?’ like the work on the unknown artist from the short story by Simon Armitage, Flypaper, from New Writing 9, Vintage 2000. Though the story is mainly focusing on the actions of the unknown artist and what the result in, I would say that the main character is council Perry. Perry sets out the catch this vandal, who to the fascination of all repeatedly leaves indentations along with his trademark signature in concrete and cement on public and private properties. In his searching for anonymous man it is not only the money and prestige that motives him, to find or become this person, but it is also curiosity. His curiosity puts him situations, where he can ask; who is he? Where will he be next time? How is he doing it? Perry found out how the work was done, but he had to pay for the information with the life of the artist, so to speak. The council and his crew saw no other way out to commit suicide or decided to die for what he believed was art.
The action takes place in England, possibly in a small town in the north of the country. We can tell that, because we are told, that Perry is the council leader here. The precise time is indefinable, because in the first line of the story is says: “It was an age like today”. So the plot could actually take place in the past, in the present, or in the future. In the first part of the story, the first 35 lines the narrator describes the mysterious young man and his rumor and fame in the city. In the second part, we follow Perry and Rossiter, who are determined to catch this notorious mystic. The...
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