The Aesthetic Relation

The Aesthetic Relation


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One of the best-known continental theorists writing today, Gérard Genette here explores our aesthetic relation to works of art. Through an analysis of the views of thinkers ranging from David Hume and Immanuel Kant to Monroe C. Beardsley, Arthur Danto, and Nelson Goodman, Genette seeks to identify the place of the aesthetic in a theory of artistic appreciation. His discussion is rich in detailed examples drawn from all of the arts. The Aesthetic Relation is a companion volume to The Work of Art: Immanence and Transcendence, published by Cornell in 1997. Taken together, the two books offer a comprehensive theory of art which addresses the work of art as at once object and action.

Genette maintains that our aesthetic relation to all types of objects presupposes that special attention is paid to their outward aspect (rather than to their usefulness) when appraising them. Such appraisals, while wholly subjective and temporary, are expressed as objective and universal judgments about the items in question. Further, he asserts that our aesthetic relation to works of art in particular is based on an awareness of an aesthetic intention that defines an object as a work of art, as well as on an awareness of a work's position in its historical and generic field.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801435119
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 11/15/1999
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

G'rard Genette is the author of many books, including four published in translation by Cornell. Sylvie Courtine-Denamy is a French philosopher and author of Hannah Arendt. G. M. Goshgarian is the translator of several books from Cornell, including The Jew and the Other and Three Women in Dark Times: Edith Stein, Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil.

What People are Saying About This

Eyal Segal

"The lucidity, elegance, and sophistication that have always characterized Genette's writing are present in his new study as well."

From the Publisher

"The text is filled with numerous examples from the literature, music, and painting of the Western tradition. This is a useful text for students and faculty of comparative literature, and for graduate students of philosophy and art history and theory."

Customer Reviews