Harold Bloom: A Map of Misreading

HAROLD BLOOM AND THE MODERNIST TRADITION

Literary Criticism and Close Reading

Although Harold Bloom (1930-), from the perspective of the 21st century seems like a historical figure, he was a liminal figure caught between Modernism and Postmodernism. It is one of the ironies of Bloom’s career that he fought titanic battles with waning New Criticism, won that battle by tossing together a salad of new theories landing on the shores of the Ivy Leagues, only to be confronted with even newer theories that would rise up and scorn him. Through it all Bloom persevered, writing forty books, all of which center upon the importance of the author as creator. To understand the implications of Bloom’s position in the world of criticism, it is an awkward one–in between New Criticism which swept the poet away in favor of the poem and Postmodern theory which posited the author as “dead” or a mere fulcrum of references.

New Criticism was a new and methodical way of reading in a more precise manner, called “close.” A “close reading” of the text is based on the understanding that a text is unified and that it means exactly what it says. The author and the historical context of the author, his or her biography or intentions were irrelevant. New Criticism was the founding method of literary in the sense that it focused on making distinctions between modes of criticism at a time when new ways of writing, from James Joyce to Virginia Woolfe to Ernest Hemingway, demanded new ways of analysis. The fact that writing was more self involved, backgrounding narrative in favor of exploring the textures of the language itself. It seemed sensible to René Wellek (1903-1995) to focus on literature as literature and his seminal Theory of Literature, published in 1946 establish a foundation for formalist criticism. It is important to remember that the formalist art critic, Clement Greenberg, was part of the literary community and like Wellek published in the Partisan Review.

In summing up René Wellek’s approach to New Criticism, Sarah Lawall’s 1988 essay, “René Wellek and Modern Literary Criticism,” sound eerily like something one would write of Greenberg:

His insistence on the study of “literature itself,” as the culmination of a broad critical historical, theoretical and multilingual inquiry, reversed the status of prevailing extra-literary schemes of interpretation: no longer did they exhaust a work’s significance, or function as its only source of value. Wellek’s own set of values–his claim that each discipline must establish its proper object of study, and that literary study must focus on the autonomous category of art: his affirmation that no critical perspective is neutral; and his rejection of critical relativism even though he sees literature as an integral part of cultural history–has been part of our literary debates for four decades.

Wellek was one of the mid-century critics who articulated this new position, coming in the wake of I. A. Richards, T. S. Eliot and Cleanth Brooks. New Criticism eliminated the author’s intention as being irrelevant to the outcome or effect of the book, but the efficacy of literature does not rest upon the way the text made the writer feel. By marking off these two “fallacies”–the intentional fallacy and the affective fallacy–are irrelevant. The focus should be the text itself which is then subjected to a close reading by the literary critic. Texts possess intrinsic meanings that owe nothing to the writer and must be read as a structure composed of words which are knitted together into a unified whole. The result of close reading is a seamless and consistent organic work of art that can be analyzed in a near-scientific manner. New Criticism would be conflated with the prevailing 20th century idea of “art for art’s sake,” but it proponents denied that history was totally precluded from consideration but, in fact, formalist criticism considered form to be content.

Bloom’s A Map of Misreading (1975)

Against this background, Harold Bloom, an outsider, reanimated the author as a Romantic hero. Like Walter Benjamin reviving the reviled Baroque, Bloom reasserted the importance of Romanticism and Romantic poetry an art form long on the critical wane. In imagining a curious mixture of the writer as a Byronic rebel and as a Biblical prophet who fought to bring a poem into being, Bloom recast literature as a record of a struggle between the “son” and his literary “father.” Although Bloom is often seen as the anti-thesis to Postmodern theories of all stripes–and indeed he also saw himself as the opposite of Jacques Derrida. In his 1986 article on Bloom, the writer for The New York Times Magazine, Colin Campbell, quoted Bloom heaping scorn on his colleagues at Yale:

”You cannot go anywhere,” he cries, ”without running into various covens and sects and various new orthodoxies of a self-righteous kind. There are the purple-haired semioticians; there are the deconstructionists; there are those who have abolished anything like a coherent discourse, for whom every text is an aberration..To try to find out what’s going on at Yale now is beyond my power.” But Campbell continued, Bloom is not finished. He speaks of ”punk ideologies,” of ”vicious feminism,” of new modes of ”stifling doctrine” and of “new Stalinisms.” He describes one young member of the English department as ”an out-and-out Marxist agitator” and ”a horse’s ass,’‘ and he says some leftist notions of bourgeois art have grown so crude as to be unrecognizable. ”It’s almost the poet-as-slumlord theory. They have their colleagues terrified. ”There is no method except yourself,” says Bloom, ”and this is what they refuse to learn.” Ideologists of every description hate the self, he says. ”They all deny that there can be such a thing as an individual.”

It is over thirty years since this article and in the 21st century, it is difficult to read Bloom without a frisson of irritation when confronted with his male-based patriarchal theoretical position–he refers to the young male poet as an “ephebe.” However, it is important to remember that this was a man who missed all the Civil Rights movements and it is possible to re-read his theories from the perspective of production. If art makers are cultural producers then what are the materials they utilize to make art? Despite his protestations to the contrary, Bloom’s work is every bit as Postmodern as that of his colleagues: it is performative and self-conscious, riddled with constructs derived from Greek and Latin, but if the reader manages to clear away the name droppings there are some interesting insights about the psychology of creation. In reviewing the book in “The Poet as Oedipus” of 1975, the late Edward Said stated,

Bloom is the most rare of critics. He has what seems to be a totally detailed command of English poetry and its scholarship, as well as an intimate acquaintance with the major avant-garde critical theories of the last quarter century. (He is De Vane Professor of the Humanities at Yale.) Yet for Bloom this gigantic apparatus, to which he has assimilated Freudian theory and the Kabbalistic doctrines of Isaac Luria, a 16th-century Jewish mystic, is no mere scholarly baggage. Since it is the essence of Bloom’s vision that every poem is the result of a critical act, by which another, earlier poem is deliberately misread, and hence re-written, it follows also that Bloom’s sense of the poems he has read is intensely combative, constantly experienced, actively felt.

In A Map of Misreading, Bloom continued his habit of creating his own linguistic terms to explain his concept of passing on the poetic tradition. His tropes became “anxiety” and “misreading” and, in his second book of the series, many of his terms came from the Kabbala. He explained “misprision”–a deliberate misunderstanding–as a “swerve” away from the predecessor by the new poet who completes the parent poem by retaining its terms and its fragments but means these terms in another sense. The Kabbala speaks of the “breaking of the vessels” as part of the primal process of Creation and Bloom uses the concept of vessel and breaking and emptying to describe the labor of literature. The new poet empties out him/(herself) humbly and “empties out” the precursor as well, an act that opens up the essential power of the earlier poem and functions as a return of the dead. Said explained how the views of Bloom challenged the status quo position on the role of the artist:

The ground of literature is the text, just as its father–the mixed metaphor is inescapable, and encouraged by every writer who ever wrote–is the author. This is the very citadel of literary orthodoxy. Only a great writer will challenge that fortress of certainty. He will see that a father is himself a son; he will also see that his own work must be protected not only from writers who will come after it, but also from the powerful authors that precede him, who remind him by their strength of their prior authority and his filial secondariness.

Such a vision immediately plays havoc with the stability of texts and authors, indeed with the whole order of culture. The past becomes an active intervention in the present; the future is preposterously made just a figure of the past in the present. No text can be complete because on the one hand it is an attempt to struggle free of earlier texts impinging on it and, on the other, it is preparing itself to savage texts not yet written by authors not yet born. Every writer and every text is not–cannot be–itself, does not have a rock-bottom Aristotelian identity. Instead of texts and authors, there are wills struggling to overcome other wills, there are patricides and infanticides whose paradox is that poetry is, if not the manifest result of such violence, then the constantly impressive evidence.

The ancestral poet is dead but still embarrassingly potent and present, but, as Kierkegaard said, “He who is willing to work must give birth to his own father.” Strong poets do not read poetry; strong poets can read only themselves. In comparison to weak poets who remain enslaved to the traditional system, who are creatively inhibited by obsessive reasoning and comparing their works to those of their precursors, strong poets are involved in acts of creative “correction” and deliberate misinterpretation. In his typically Baroque and deliberately dramatic writing style, Bloom declaimed,

<Only a poet challenges a poet as a poet, and so only a poet makes a poet. To the poet-in-a-poet, a poem is always the other man, the precursor, and so a poem is always a person, always the father of one’s Second Birth. To live, the poet must misinterpret the father, by the crucial act of misprision, which is the re-writing of the father. But who, what is the poetic father? The voice of the other, of the daimon, is always speaking in one; the voice that cannot die because already it has survived death–the dead poet lives in one.

Bloom wrote of “agon” in his books. On one level agon, which is a Greek concept, seems to refer simply to a contest but the origin of this “contest” is a dialogue in Greek theater between the protagonist and the antagonist. Agon originated specifically in literature as a verbal contest, a struggle of wit and language. Later, especially during Roman times, agon becomes firmly attached to competitive games, such as chariot races, and becomes linked to the idea of victory and winning. In using this term of antagonism, Bloom precluded more benign concepts to describe creativity, such as “homage” or “collaboration.” The artist strives, in a very Modernist fashion, to overthrow the past and to assert his genius. Genius is strong, but the age of the genius is weak and the strong poet runs the risk of drowning in the act of becoming a good reader of earlier poets. As Bloom explained in Kabbalah and Criticism (1975),

Strong poets must be mis-read; there are no generous errors to be made in apprehending them, any more than their own errors of reading are ever generous. Every poet caricatures tradition and every strong poet is then necessarily mis-read by the tradition that he fosters. The strongest of poets are so severely mis-read that the generally accepted, broad interpretations o their work actually tend to be the exact opposites of what the poems truly are.

This danger of encountering the genius of the stronger poet arouses anxiety for the challenger, as the whole being of the poet must be unique in order for the poet to survive. Bloom writing as if he is aware of Postmodern idea of the bricoleur stated that the strong poet usurps and appropriates that which is strong and available within the language. And Bloom writes as if he has begun to incorporate the idea of intertextuality when he notes that the great poem can refer only to other great poems and emanates from the intricate balance of psychic warfare. The good poet steals, leaps and located his/herself in the freedom that is discontinuity.

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Harold Bloom (1930-)

But Bloom also remained true to the structured meaning of literature when he asserted that literature is a text, stating that poems are not things: poems are words that refer only to other words and any poem is an inter-poem and reading is only inter-reading. Although Bloom sounds rather like a holdover from New Criticism, he is also a critic who is aware of his own theoretical time when he asserted that a poem is never written but rewritten because every poem is belated–a very Postmodern stance. Art is necessarily an after-ing, every artist a latecomer who lives under the shadow of art. The artist must usurp and seize textual authority in an act of imposition and a declaration of property. Poetry is thus an aspiring to strength that is necessarily competitive and obsessive. However, Bloom was no Postmodernist, despite his traces and flirtations with the tropes of Postmodernist theories, for he was always concerned with self-actualizaiton through an act of will, through an assertion of self-consciousness. In other words, self-representation is achieved only through “trespass” or an act of invasion into the territory of another artist, who then becomes the “father.”

In a purely Freudian fashion, as if the sons are collectively assaulting the father, Bloom asserts that the strong poet must invent him/herself through a strong new poem that is a sin of transgression against origins. The poet obtains freedom, that is, obtains a meaning of his/her own, achieved against an a priori fullness of meaning–tradition which leads the new strong poet to a territory of his own. This freedom of meaning can be arrived at only through combat–a reading encounter by a strong poet who loves his/her own poetry, and must live it, in order to get it written and to open up a poetic space or a terrain captured from another poet. In asserting that poetry can come only out of a lineage of poetry, Bloom seemed to be rejecting the possibility of a poetic revolution, such as that of Stéphane Mallarmé. Indeed, his list of “strong poets” is somewhat limited to the Romantic poets of the 18th century and those of the early 20th century. By asserting the primacy of existing tradition and, incidentally, upholding a canon of “strong poets,” Bloom was able to save history and tradition, genius and originality from the historicism and eclecticism, and the appropriation and borrowing of Postmodernism.

As a Jewish writer, Bloom appears to think in an almost Biblical construct of “begets”, establishing a patriarchal lineage of sons wrestling with their dead fathers for poetic or artistic territory. The question remains whether or not Bloom’s concept of Agon can be un-colored and un-gendered and re-made into a general account of how artists come to terms with the past and find their own creative ground through psychological suffering and self-protection that forces them onto new territories. He continues the formalism of Structuralism by reading poetry out of historical context and continues the Structuralism of Structuralism by creating another figurative metaphor: a field of conflict, and continues the teleological imperatives of Modernism as art begets art within a closed world, combining works of art, psychologies and histories.

But Bloom, as is recalled, worked with the radical Yale deconstructionists, Paul de Man and Jacques Derrida. There are aspects of his work that seem to reconcile the Postmodern denial of originality and its assertion of belatedness with the Modernist need to explain and to celebrate “genius.” But in the final analysis, Postmodernism is about the gaps, while Modernism is about continuity and the continuous rupture with the past. Bloom sees the tradition of “art” as being a conflicted hand-off, Agon, between fathers and sons. Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault would have very different views about how art is made.

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Harold Bloom: The Anxiety of Influence

HAROLD BLOOM (1930 -)

The Canon

The most prolific upholder of the Modern “canon” is Harold Bloom, the quintessential Modernist holdout surrounded by a sea of Postmodern theorists. However, Bloom, always an interesting and prolific writer, is merely more frank than his colleagues who were never champions of the Other, except as signifiers. The argument over the Canon coincided with the entry of women and people of color, gays and lesbians in the halls of academia and it is here, in these very institutions, that people are taught to read certain books and to look at certain works of art. By privileging certain authors articulating the concerns of certain classes and certain genders and by refusing to include the voices of the Other/s, the formation of the canon is an ideological act. The process of forming resembles that of selecting the “appropriate” texts for religious books, such as the Bible–only some are chosen. The rejected writings may have been deemed “marginal” or “non-orthodox,” but the final choices are shrouded in mysteries of confidentiality that hide the politics or the political impact. The formation of religious canon/s is usually in the hands of the so-called authorities but literary and artistic canons were less a matter of authority than of the availability of some works of art for study and not others or the extent to which a literary work is impactful or influential or referred to.

The fact that canons are formed casually over time does not blunt their ideological effect. Whether or not production has intent, and I would argue that it has, the end result of the Canon is to establish an authoritative “list” or “approved’ works that are deemed “suitable” for study and contemplation. The problem, as with all exemplars is that the choices cannot be sustained, except in a very few cases, in terms of “quality” and can be defended only in terms of the superiority of gender or race. While it is possible to argue that Shakespeare is “superior” to other writers in English, it is not possible to argue that T. S. Eliot is “better” than Virginia Woolfe and that therefore, the female should be excluded. Those who are opposed to the imposition of a Canon are not opposed to separating grocery store “romance novels” from the Brönte sisters but are opposed to including some at the inclusion of others. For example, it makes no sense to exclude either Berthe Morisot or Mary Cassatt from Impressionism, for they too painted in that style, were present at the creation, and were “painters of modern life.” To exclude Virginia Woolfe as a Modernist writer from the Modernist “canon,” is to defy history and to rewrite the formation of modern literature.

western_canon

Instead of appealing to the accuracy of historical events, the 1980s debate over the Canon devolved into a proxy fight over the disempowering of women in order to continue to valorize the male. The Canon, or the concept of the Great Books or the Major Monuments, had long been considered the very definition of Western culture itself. “Culture” was assumed to be timeless and transcendent and revelatory of “civilization.” Until the rise of the “culture of critique” or as the art critic Robert Hughes called it “the culture of complaint,” the omission of women and people of color from the list of the “greats” and the “majors” was considered to be the “natural” result of the “deficiencies” of those who were the Other. But the Other spoke up and pointed out that the Canon was more than a reading list or a compilation of images and was a political instrument actively engaged in the oppression of disenfranchised peoples. In actuality, the fight over the inclusion and exclusion of those in or out of the Canon is based upon the argument that time is limited and that only so many works of art can be studied in the allotted time of the semester or quarter. Hopefully, that argument will become anachronistic with the increasing use of computer based courses, eliminating constraints of time and space and enabling students to wander among available books and works of art and make up their own minds.

Harold Bloom’s The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (1973)

One of the staunchest defenders of the Canon is Harold Bloom, a lone voice of dissent against Deconstruction, a final defender of authoritarianism in the Yale School of Critics, once a hotbed of radical thought. Some of his colleagues and most powerful adversaries are dead: Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), Paul de Man (1919-1983) but J. Hillis Miller lives on. The School is a legend of the past with its heyday going back to the debate over the Canon. To understand how important the Yale School was in the 1980s is get an insight into the literary quarrels among the contending perspectives of New Criticism, Marxism, Deconstruction, Feminism and Multiculturalism. Of this rather assorted list, only Deconstruction was disconnected from the Enlightenment. The other “isms” were either white-male based: New Criticism and Marxism or were reformist: Feminism and Multiculturalism. Out of this fertile ground for affirmative debate over ideologies in the Canon came massive changes in the humanities that altered the way a work of art is studied and analyzed.

Harold Bloom, described in an amusing 1986 article, “The Tyranny of the Yale Critics,” by Colin Campbell as looking like Zero Mostel, rose above the battleground and stood his ground, defending the great works while ignoring all others. Bloom’s tireless defense of the Canon is less interesting in the long run than his description of how art is made and the relation of artists to their predecessors. For Bloom, the artist is always an avant-garde creator, a tormented Romantic genius, who struggles with a sacred and sanctified duty to be original. As Campbell mockingly wrote,

During the 1960’s and 70’s, Bloom’s hot-blooded readings of the 19th-century Romantic poets helped melt the authority of the New Critics (an intellectually cool group that distrusted Romantic enthusiasms). His dark, agonized, Freudian speculations over the process known as ”literary influence” – over the ways writers creatively misread and try to outdo their artistic predecessors – became the theme of his career.

Criticized by Feminists of constructing a masculine and Oedipal field of struggle between “fathers” and “sons” in violent creative competition, Bloom created a model of agonism and conflict that brings “great” works of art into being. Without preamble or preparation, Bloom plunges into his thesis of the “strong poet” and the “weak poet” making an argument that the relative strength and weakness can be measured in how each poet reacts the presence of precursors. Bloom sought a way out of Modernism’s cherished notion of “influence,” a narrow and reductive concept that was an enterprise that was inadequate at best and damaging at worse, shadowing the artistic experience with a simplistic mechanism of mere borrowing. Using the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Narcissism, Bloom separated the artistic world into strong poets and weak poets. Strong poets would triumph over their predecessors and overcome The Anxiety of Influence through something he called the “transitive originality,” meaning that originality is either passed on or newly discovered.

Originality is denied within Postmodernism, but Bloom rescues it from theoretical oblivion by asserting that the meaning of a poem can be only another poem, making poetic history the history of strong poems. The battle for the new artist is to accept the works of the predecessors, to do what has already been done, and to ultimately beat history through misinterpretation or misprision. Strong poets read their predecessors inaccurately through a different subjective paradigm and system of values, resulting in a strong new interpretation or a strong and deliberate misreading that becomes a new imaginative space for the new poet. As Bloom wrote,

Poetic Influence–when it involves two strong, authentic poets–always proceeds by a misreading of the prior poet, an act of creative correction that is actually and necessarily a misinterpretation. The history of fruitful poetic influence, which is to say the main traditions of Western poetry since the Renaissance, is a history of anxiety and self-saving caricature of distortion, of perverse, willful revisionism without which modern poetry as such could not exist.

The problem of anxiety can be solved by the strong poet by a “swerve” away from the precursor. The swerve acknowledges the presence of the prior author and makes use of the available materials but on the terms of the next generation. Bloom, who delights in creating new terms, uses the word, “clinamen” to denote the “misreading” or

..poetic misreading or misprision proper; I take the word from Lucretius, where it meansa ‘swerve’ of the atoms so as to make change possible in the universe. A poet swervesaway from his precursor, by so reading his precursor’s poem as to execute a clinamenin relation to it. This appears as a corrective movement in his own poem, which implies that the precursor poem went accurately up to a certain point, but then should have swerved, precisely in the direction that the new poem moves..

Bloom created many terms such as”tessera,” which refers to a fragment (of a pot), which is both the antithesis of the completed object and the completion itself. “A poet,” Bloom wrote, “antithetically ‘completes’ his precursor, by so reading the parent-poem as to retain its terms but to mean them in another sense, as though the precursor had failed to go far enough.” The ideas of misreading and swerve, compared to the rest of the “Revisionary Ratios:” Kenosis, Daemonisation, Askesis and Apophrades, which are terms of elaboration, are key to understand Bloom’s main point: the poetic “sons” fear their poetic “fathers” in a Freudian sense. The sons fear the confrontation because they fear they will not measure up and will be castrated, i. e., that their inadequacies will be revealed through a weak poem which reeks of the influence of the father.

Because as Bloom contended, a poem can emerge only from another poem, the precursor must be acknowledged and the father cannot be “killed” by the strong poet. As he wrote, “Poetry is the anxiety of influence, is misprision, is a disciplined perverseness. Poetry is misunderstanding, misinterpretation, misalliance. Poetry (Romance) is Family Romance. Poetry is the enchantment of incest disciplined by resistance to that enchantment. Influence is influenza – an astral disease. If influence were health, who would write a poem?” What is odd about Bloom’s analysis of the Family Romance is that the Mother does not appear in the triad. His romance is a war between father and son in which the son is attempting to establish his own subject hood and thus his own self, his own Being. As Bloom noted, “When we say that the meaning of a poem can only be another poem, we may mean a range of poems: the precursor poem or poems. The poem we write as our reading. A rival poem, son or grandson of the same precursor. A poem that never got written – that is – the poem that should have been written by the poet in question. A composite poem, made up of these in some combination.”

The importance of Harold Bloom’s work is that he brings Freudian theory into Romantic or Kantian ideas about “genius.” By asserting the importance of literature for literature, Bloom ended the myth of original creation, one of the central tenets of Western aesthetics. However, the books of Harold Bloom, products of a pre-feminist and pre-Civil Rights era, were published in a different world and seemed like rear guard resistance against both inevitable change and ethical justice. There are logical flaws in Bloom’s arguments, which imply that the agon of poetry is an all male affair (romance). Although Bloom seems blind to the work of women, it is difficult to imagine that his favorite modern poet, Wallace Stevens, could have written “Anecdote of a Jar” without his female precursor, Emily Dickinson. Likewise, if one asserts that because Virginia Woolfe was a woman, she had no precursors, then surely Bloom would have to rank her as an original genius. But in the 21st century, it is pointless to argue with or about an elderly man who reflected his own time and it is important to understand his next book as an extension of its famous precursor.

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Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette and Art History Unstuffed. Thank you.

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Podcast 44 Painting 10: Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol and “Decorative Art”

Andy Warhol played many roles in the art world of the sixties. Although he produced more films than paintings and sculptures, he re-defined “painting” and “sculpture,” bringing these traditional practices into the modern age. Using serigraphy as a metaphor for commercialism and consumerism, Warhol brought his advertising sensibilities to fine arts. Wooden boxes with purloined logos suggested that the art world was a market place for the high-end consumer. Casting aside hierarchy and judgment, the artist consumed the ubiquitous imagery of his time and put together an encyclopedia for his decade. Acting like a bricoleur, he gathered the pictures of mass media and re-produced and re-presented the already known and the already seen and forced the viewers to examine the overlooked and the banal of the culture.

 

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Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette and Art History Unstuffed.

Thank you.
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Important Announcement

The Podcasts from this Website

by Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette

are now available through iTunes and can be listened to on your iPad or iPhone

Remember to download the iBooks app to your iPad or iPhone

Art History Unstuffed: The Podcasts

Also the complete

Art History Timeline Videos

by Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette

are now available and can be viewed on You Tube

This twenty-seven episode series of five minute videos span Western art history, from the Caves to Romanticism. The videos can be used by students and teachers as introductory, supplementary or review material. Each video is written,narrated and produced by the author of this website, and is reinforced by written text and is richly illustrated by many images. The entire Timeline can be accessed through

this link: Art History Timeline

Podcast Episode 4: Romantic Aesthetics, Part One

THE AESTHETICS OF ROMANTICISM

Part One

With the decline of religious commissions and with the end of aristocratic patronage, the modern artist was left dependent upon the State and the new art public. In the past, it had been sufficient to define “art” as that which had been approved by a higher power, but in the nineteenth century, a new definition of art was required. Aesthetics, which provides the epistemology of art, or the ground of “art,” was a new aspect of philosophy that emerged coincidentally with the historical break in the old definition of art. This podcast will examine the social and cultural foundations of Aesthetics and the philosophical development of the definition of “modern art.”  

If you have found this material useful, please give credit to Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette and Art History Unstuffed.

Thank you. info@arthistoryunstuffed.com

Important Announcement

The Podcasts from this Website

by Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette

are now available through iTunes and can be listened to on your iPad or iPhone

Remember to download the iBooks app to your iPad or iPhone

Art History Unstuffed: The Podcasts

Also the complete

Art History Timeline Videos

by Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette

are now available and can be viewed on You Tube

This twenty-seven episode series of five minute videos span Western art history, from the Caves to Romanticism. The videos can be used by students and teachers as introductory, supplementary or review material. Each video is written,narrated and produced by the author of this website, and is reinforced by written text and is richly illustrated by many images. The entire Timeline can be accessed through

this link: Art History Timeline