What Is Art ?


Without knowing first what art is, we will not be able to tell what good is art. Having studied several different definitions of art, I am most satisfied with Tolstoy's definition of art from his essay "?" (pckt pg.21). According to Tolstoy, art is a form of communication, a vehicle which the artist can use to communicate his feelings and emotion; it is a "means of intercourse between man and man" (pckt pg. 23). Tolstoy's definition of art is hardly based on the beauty of the work, rather he focuses on the communicative qualities of the work namely, infectiousness, clarity and sincerity. Thus, any piece of work displaying all the three conditions in any varying degree, is considered a ...

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of communication, and good literature be it the prose of Trollope, poems of Blake, the plays of Shakespeare or even political propaganda has always had the sincerity of its creator. Throughout history, literature has been able to bring a social, or moral message to the people. And good literature has always been infectious, at times even igniting reform and revolution. Without a doubt, literature brings to the reader or audience a circumstance we are unable to experience in real life and thus raise moral or social concerns. From Swift's satirical "Gulliver's Travels" which poked fun at the social mores of his time, to the fiction of Dickens whose plea for reform did not go unheard and pushed a program for reformation into action. Yet literature with its power to move masses can also go bad, for instance, the misinterpretation of Marxist theories led to the regime of suffering and terror we know as Communism. Art, as Tolstoy has described, is infectious, sincere and clear, ...

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demonstration of the difficulty of being objective and is a "place in which the nature of morality can be seen." (book pg.200) In other words, art is where the artist sheds his individualistic veil of perception and creates a work where others can share in his objectivity. This is an act of virtue. In appreciating art, we become less selfish and can see the reality of the world presented. I agree very much that objectivity is introduced to the spectator, and I can think of no more fitting example than when Dickens removes the selfish, ignorant veil of the rich through his writings to reveal to them the existence of the poor and lower classes.
In congruence with Murdoch, Nussbaum ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/20/2005 06:03:05 PM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1465
Pages: 6

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