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By Beat Wyss

During this examine, Beat Wyss presents a serious research of Hegel's theories of artwork historical past. Analogous to his philosophy of heritage, Hegel seen the historical past of artwork in dialectical phrases: With its origins within the old close to East, Western artwork culminated in Classical Greece, yet all started its decline already within the Hellenistic interval. but, as Wyss posits, artwork refuses its programmed loss of life. He highlights the political size of this contradiction, displaying the results of theories that subordinate artwork to the desire of absolute rule.

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But Zola’s condemnation of what escapes us recalls the manner in which he defends his effort to render details in sheer quantity. 30). This desire was not lost on his contemporaries, like Barbey d’Aurevilly, who in 1902 recalled with admiration Zola’s “pen that forgets nothing” (201). 329). In what amounts to a recontextualizing of Lockean epistemology, the experimenter receives data empirically once the experiment—the provoked observation—has been initiated. Critics who see this method as necessarily artificial have a valid point, in that Zola himself concedes that there is a provocation.

The immediate relationship between theory and praxis—or rather the belief that theoretical adjustments can equate to ultimately practical ones—reveals an understanding of epistemology fundamentally different to Sartre’s. In a very real sense, the basic differences between Sartre’s and Adorno’s views of knowledge are similar to the basic differences between Zola’s and Nietzsche’s views of knowledge. They are similar as well to the basic differences between the imparting of knowledge by realist artists or authors aiming to clarify, and the critiquing of knowledge or what Paul Fry has called “knowledge-fixation” by formal experimenters and authors of the anti-realistic (204).

Their content may be at odds, he suggests, but their forms and ways of thinking are not. And, for Adorno, it is ultimately the form that matters. 28). It is difficult not to read this passage in “Commitment” as a tacit response to a number of moments in which other scholars had accused Adorno’s beloved modernism of consorting with Nazism. Lukács alone provides repeated examples. ”, Lukács makes bedfellows of modernists and Hitler. Lukács claims that Gottfried Benn’s cynical answer to the question of whether artists can change the world explains why Benn could “tolerate the social evils of his time—even collaborating with Hitler” (64), and that the view of humanity suggested by modernist anti-realism “connives at that modern nihilism from which both Fascism and Cold War ideology draw their strength” (63).

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