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Monday, March 19, 2007

Tolstoy and Other Infections

So we were talking about Tolstoy. In his What is Art? he theorises that art is the contagion of feeling. Are we talking viruses by any chance? He infects the audience with the feelings he himself experiences. Indeed he wants to use this theory as a criterion for the evaluation of art. Well my old friend Anne Sheppard would tell us that, “much of Tolstoy’s condemnation of art derives from his moral outlook and he fails, or refuses, to make any distinction between the moral and the aesthetic.”

So up yours, Leo!

“She goes on to say, “It is often claimed that a characteristic feature of aesthetic experience is a certain emotional detachment, that in true art emotions are not directly aroused, we are not moved to immediate action but remain in a state of contemplative appreciation.”

Douglas Adams, Tolstoy, viruses, Art. Old Hof would be proud of.
Anyway think about it. Your words depend on this.

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