Panaesthetics: On the Unity and Diversity of the Arts (The Anthony Hecht Lectures in the Humanities Series)
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Albright explores how different media interact, as in a drama, when speech, stage decor, and music are co-present, or in a musical composition that employs the collage method of the visual arts. Tracing arguments and questions about the relations among the arts from Aristotle’s Poetics to the present day, he illuminates the understudied discipline of comparative arts and urges new attention to its riches.
Hirst’s Mother and Child Divided (1993) may show what I mean: Hirst provided a cow and a calf, each cut in two down the backbone and arranged so that the spectator could walk between the two half-cows and half-calves. The ancient ox image is, plausibly, a thing of force and wonder; Hirst’s cow is not only domesticated but immeasurably brought low. Inside the aurochs there might be something like the energy that D. H. Lawrence once saw in a horse: “Large, large seemed the bluish, incandescent
Braque, Pablo Picasso, and Saul Steinberg works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 The Anthony Hecht Lectures in the Humanities, given biennially at Bard College, were established to honor the memory of this preeminent American poet by reflecting his lifelong interest in literature, music, the visual arts, and cultural history. Through his poems,
these splayed spavined shoes. Human presence in the universe transubstantiates right here. Out of the dark opening of Heidegger’s stunning paragraph there has gaped a good deal of later philosophy, including a riff by Fredric Jameson. But I want to play a slightly different shell game with this shoe, by taking it not as a talisman or thumb drive into which the felt reality of farm life has been uploaded, but as a talisman into which an artistic medium has been compressed: the whole history of
there is no special prestige to be discovered in the origins of Greek or of any other language. (Socrates’ cold eye toward origins foreshadows a similar attitude in Nietzsche and Michel Foucault.) By involving the creation of language with the creation of the universe, the author of Genesis shows himself or herself to be a poet; by carefully separating the creation of language from any sort of supernatural potency, Socrates shows himself to be a philosopher. Cratylus himself keeps trying to
power over the reader’s mind. I do not mean that reading can liberate me from the prison of self: I can’t transfigure myself into Abraham Lincoln or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter or Madame Bovary (not that that notion of “becoming” a fictitious character has much meaning in any case, though I have read of a woman who hired surgeons to give her the physique of a Barbie doll). I mean that I experiment with the person who I would be if I thought the thoughts that Flaubert ascribes to his character