Aesthetics of contingency provides an important reconsideration of seventeenth-century literature in light of new understandings of the English past. Emphasising the contingency of the political in revolutionary England and its extended aftermath, Matthew Augustine challenges prevailing literary histories plotted according to structural conflicts and teleological narrative. In their place, he offers an innovative account of imaginative and polemical writing, in an effort to view later seventeenth-century literature on its own terms: without certainty about the future, or indeed the recent past. In hewing to this premise, the familiar outline of the period – with red lines drawn at 1642, 1660, or 1688 – becomes suggestively blurred. For all of Milton’s prophetic gestures, for all of Dryden’s presumption to speak for, to epitomise his Age, writing from the later decades of the seventeenth century remained supremely responsive to uncertainty, to the tremors of civil conflict and to the enduring crises and contradictions of Stuart governance. A study of major writings from the Personal Rule to the Glorious Revolution and beyond, this book also re-examines the material conditions of literature in this age. By carefully deciphering the multi-layered forces at work in acts of writing and reception, and with due consideration for the forms in which texts were cast, this book explores the complex nature of making meaning in and making meaning out of later Stuart England.
The book addresses late-Soviet and post-Soviet art in Armenia in the context of turbulent social, political and cultural transformations in the late 1980s, throughout the 1990s and in early 2000s through the aesthetic figure of the ‘painterly real’ and its conceptual transformations. It explores the emergence of ‘contemporary art’ in Armenia from within and in opposition to the practices, aesthetics and institutions of Socialist Realism and National Modernism. The book presents the argument that avant-garde art best captures the historical and social contradictions of the period of the so-called ‘transition,’ especially if one considers ‘transition’ from the perspective of the former Soviet republics that have been consistently marginalized in Russian- and East European-dominated post-Socialist studies. Throughout the two decades that encompass the chronological scope of this work, contemporary art has encapsulated the difficult dilemmas of autonomy and social participation, innovation and tradition, progressive political ethos and national identification, the problematic of communication with the world outside of Armenia’s borders, dreams of subjective freedom and the imperative to find an identity in the new circumstances after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This historical study outlines the politics (liberal democracy), aesthetics (autonomous art secured by the gesture of the individual artist), and ethics (ideals of absolute freedom and radical individualism) of contemporary art in Armenia. Through the historical investigation, a theory of post-Soviet art historiography is developed, one that is based on a dialectic of rupture and continuity in relation to the Soviet past. As the first English-language study on contemporary art in Armenia, the book is of prime interest for artists, scholars, curators and critics interested in post-Soviet art and culture and in global art historiography.
In 1796 a German politico-philosophical manifesto proclaims the 'highest act of reason' as an 'aesthetic act'. The ways in which this transformation relates to the development of some of the major directions in modern philosophy is the focus of this book. The book focuses on the main accounts of the human subject and on the conceptions of art and language which emerge within the Kantian and post-Kantian history of aesthetics. Immanuel Kant's main work on aesthetics, the 'third Critique', the Critique of Judgement, forms part of his response to unresolved questions which emerge from his Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason. The early Romantics, who, after all, themselves established the term, can be characterized in a way which distinguishes them from later German Romanticism. The 'Oldest System Programme of German Idealism', is a manifesto for a new philosophy and exemplifies the spirit of early Idealism, not least with regard to mythology. The crucial question posed by the Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling of the System of Transcendental Idealism (STI) is how art relates to philosophy, a question which has recently reappeared in post-structuralism and in aspects of pragmatism. Despite his undoubted insights, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's insufficiency in relation to music is part of his more general problem with adequately theorising self-consciousness, and thus with his aesthetic theory. Friedrich Schleiermacher argues in the hermeneutics that interpretation of the meaning of Kunst is itself also an 'art'. The book concludes with a discussion on music, language, and Romantic thought.
• 3 •
Film form and aesthetics
This chapter offers an introduction to film analysis. Although this work
emphasises the importance of film as a cultural and historical object,
it is crucial to recognise the textual specificity of film. As the work is
partly aimed at those who may not have studied film before, this chapter
will outline how to explore visual style and will draw attention to how
this is constructed through lighting, staging, performance, camerawork,
costumes and music.
The focus here is film and, while the examples are predominantly
Aesthetics and politics: between
Adorno and Heidegger
Antinomies of reason
The alignments of T. W. Adorno to the protracted, diﬃcult process of coming to
terms with a broken Marxist inheritance and of Martin Heidegger to the Nazi politics of rethinking the human might seem to leave them at opposite non-communicating poles of political diﬀerence.1 Their views on aesthetics seem similarly starkly
opposed, in terms both of judgements and of the place of aesthetics within the philosophical pantheon. Aesthetic theory for Adorno marks out a domain of
caring for and observing the care for Antoine. It is an enquiry into the possible shape of an aesthetics of care , drawn from the collision of professional practice, personal politics and domestic circumstances that inevitably occurred when a Congolese drama worker, with whom I had conducted theatre workshops in the DRC, ended up sharing my house. The political, ethical and ultimately intimate challenge this made forced me to rethink the boundaries of my practice. There is no claim in this writing that the experience was in any way easy, heroic or exemplary. It was in
In this chapter, I develop some of the thinking introduced in an article I wrote in 2015 around what I described as an ‘aesthetic of care’ (see Chapter 2 of this edited collection). To speak of care as a mode of aesthetics is to make two related claims. First, that reciprocal acts of caring, whether formal, informal, interpersonal or collective, have a sensory, crafted quality that could be called an aesthetic. Caring, thus, I suggest, has an artistry and there are inspirational carers who exhibit a virtuosity in the way they care for and with others. As
The sense of an ending in Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone
The unsustainable aesthetics of
sustainability: the sense of an ending in
Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods
Jeanette Winterson’s 2007 novel, The Stone Gods, is a critique of progress,
both in the general sense of movement, journeying, or going forward,
and in the specialised sense of human development, particularly the
privileging of economic and scientific improvement that is often called
the myth or narrative of progress. In the spirit of so many of Winterson’s
novels, The Stone Gods places its several protagonists on journeys, most
What is evaluative aesthetics?
What is evaluative aesthetics?
1.1 The origin and definition of aesthetics
The concept of the ‘aesthetic’ is best considered as a cluster of interrelated
meanings, and Part I will attempt to elaborate its multifaceted nature. Its
Greek origin is aisthesis, meaning perception by sense, or feeling; more
precisely it derives ‘from the Greek nominal aisthetikos, sensitive or sentient,
derived in turn from the verb aisthanesthai, meaning to perceive, feel, or
sense’ (Costelloe 2013: 1). Aesthetki is ‘the science of how
The need for a single public culture - the creation of an authentic identity - is fundamental to our understanding of nationalism and nationhood. This book considers how manufactured cultural identities are expressed. It explores how notions of Britishness were constructed and promoted through architecture, landscape, painting, sculpture and literature, and the ways in which the aesthetics of national identities promoted the idea of nation. The idea encompassed the doctrine of popular freedom and liberty from external constraint. Particular attention is paid to the political and social contexts of national identities within the British Isles; the export, adoption and creation of new identities; and the role of gender in the forging of those identities. The book examines the politics of land-ownership as played out within the arena of the oppositional forces of the Irish Catholics and the Anglo-Irish Protestant ascendancy. It reviews the construction of a modern British imperial identity as seen in the 1903 durbar exhibition of Indian art. The area where national projection was particularly directed was in the architecture and the displays of the national pavilions designed for international exhibitions. Discussions include the impact of Robert Bowyer's project on the evolution of history painting through his re-representation of English history; the country houses with architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Greek Revivalist; and the place of Arthurian myth in British culture. The book is an important addition to the field of postcolonial studies as it looks at how British identity creation affected those living in England.