Again, I would like others to have the same experience I have had. That is basically what it comes down to—sharing this joy. I don’t feel authoritative about it. I feel like I’m on the same level with my readers.

So conveying your experience is almost as important as giving an opinion?

I think that’s true. My favorite critics are not art critics, but dance critics. Especially Edwin Denby. I like to read them best—not for stylistic reasons, but because the subject they are writing about is a very ephemeral thing. It basically doesn’t exist beyond the performance. The only record is what you write about it, with the kind of language that captures it on the fly. I think of art the same way. There is no objective perspective on it that makes sense to me, really. We’re here for a very short time. We’re here together. We won’t be here very long. The experience is so personal, so fleeting, that I just want to capture it.

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Allan M. Jalon writes often about the arts for the Los Angeles Times and other publications. His work as a reporter and critic has appeared in The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as various magazines.