Aesthetic Theory (Athlone Contemporary European Thinkers) Hardcover – 1 Dec 2000
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From the Back Cover
The culmination of a lifetime of aesthetic investigation, Aesthetic Theory is Adorno's major work, a defense of modernism that is paradoxical in its defense of illusion. In it, Adorno takes up the problem of art in a day when "it goes without saying that nothing concerning art goes without saying". In the course of his discussion, Adorno revisits such concepts as the sublime, the ugly, and the beautiful, demonstrating that concepts such as these are reservoirs of human experience. These experiences ultimately underlie aesthetics, for in Adorno's formulation "art is the sedimented history of human misery". --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
The book itself rather reminds me of what happens when on entering an art gallery one espies a picture. One moves close to get a better view, however in doing so one begins to lose sight of the picture itself. Should one proceed further and closer, this effect is amplified, and if, to understand better one views a part of the picture through a magnifying glass, in the process of understanding more one only seems to get further away from the meaning of the picture. Has anyone ever penetrated further into the nature of Art than Adorno? I doubt it and yet, nothwithstanding some perecptive observations on Art, (and not a few stupidities) much remains I have to say impenetrable to me. Tolstoy, ended up largely writing nonsense when he attempted to do the same, so it is perhaps a subject where the only success one may have would be pyrrhic.
Art remains enigmatic: Pointless but essential.
If art helps you to transcend suffering then this a good thing. Escapism can be excellent. The question is what is good escapism? Good escapism takes you to a better, more lovely reality.
If it transmutes suffering then suffering has no victory at all.
But, please, let us not get too bogged down with art. Too much attention is given to art in aesthetics to the detriment of the beauty of everyday life.
The artist gets her main inspiration from daily life where she lives. To beautify the simple world that inspires even the greatest art must be the priority.
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