Winter 1944 • Vol. VI No. 1 Discussion |

Art Needs a Little Separating

Mr. Ames has given me permission to follow him with some comment upon the general state of aesthetic studies, in the light of his essay. It seems to me an essay which does throw light upon contemporary discussion, and is important for that reason as well as in itself. It is one of the politest of essays, and seems generous in its attributions to art. Nevertheless the kind of technical terms it uses is decisive, so that we say: it issues from that rugged philosophy of which everybody must have said to himself that the recognition of art will be the last thing it will do. The essay leads toward the recognition, and that is exhilarating. Nearly every locution suggests the author's philosophical commitments: he is one of the tough moderns. In another essay,1 which he was good enough to show me, he began as follows: The great controversy in aesthetics hovers over the question whether art and the attitude appropriate to it are separated from other human interests and activities o

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