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The sense of semblance : philosophical analyses of Holocaust art / Henry W. Pickford.

Publication | Library Call Number: NX180.H59 .P53 2013

"Holocaust artworks intuitively must fulfill at least two criteria: artistic (lest they be merely historical documents) and historical (lest they distort the Holocaust or become merely artworks). The Sense of Semblance locates this problematic within philosophical aesthetics, as a version of the conflict between aesthetic autonomy and heteronomy, and argues that Adorno's dialectic of aesthetic semblance describes the normative demand that artworks maintain a dynamic tension between the two. The Sense of Semblance aims to move beyond familiar debates surrounding postmodernism by demonstrating the usefulness of contemporary theories of meaning and understanding, including those from the analytic tradition. Pickford shows how the causal theory of names, the philosophy of tacit knowledge, the analytic philosophy of quotation, Sartre's theory of the imaginary, the epistemology of testimony, and Walter Benjamin's dialectical image can help explicate how individual artworks fulfill artistic and historical desiderata. In close readings of Celan's poetry, Holocaust memorials in Berlin, the quotational artist Heimrad Backer, Claude Lanzmann's film Shoah, and Art Spiegelman's graphic novel Maus, Pickford offers interpretations that, in their precision, specificity, and clarity, inaugurate a dialogue between contemporary analytic philosophy and contemporary art. The Sense of Semblance is the first book to incorporate contemporary analytic philosophy in interpretations of art and architecture, literature, and film about the Holocaust"-- Provided by publisher.

"Drawing on work in contemporary analytic philosophy and Adorno's normative aesthetic theory, this book aims to show how selected Holocaust artworks in a variety of media (lyric poetry by Paul Celan, Holocaust memorials, quotational texts by Heimrad Bc̃ker, Claude Lanzmann's film Shoah and Art Spiegelman's graphic novel Maus) fulfill both aesthetic and historical requirements of the genre"-- Provided by publisher.

Book cover
Pickford, Henry W.
New York : Fordham University Press, 2013
Record last modified: 2013-02-22 16:32:00
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