Not a word I like or use. It’s usually levelled at working class people, by other working class people, when they express themselves through art. I expect it’s been used about me, though never to my face, because I write poetry and take an interest in art. Why do we impose these limits on ourselves? The working class in the UK has so many barriers to success without us self-applying them.
It ought to be easy. You enjoy something, you do it. And yet I find when I’m teaching poetry writing there’s a reluctance to write anything that isn’t funny or cute or nice. Just write it, and if the world decides to call you pretentious wear the label with pride.
So come on, fellow working class writers and artists. Let’s be pretentious. Let’s get ideas that are way above our station and let’s never, ever know our place.