The Case for Human Aestheticism

Dan Green riffing from David Ulin’s review of Faulkner’s early novels: “That some modernists/postmodernists are preoccupied with aesthetic questions is true enough, but why are these kinds of questions not considered properly ‘human’? Isn’t the ability to formulate the concept of the aesthetic one of our defining features as a species? Presumably Ulin wants Faulkner’s books to be sources of wisdom, while I want them to be sources of aesthetic delight. But I can see no reason why the former rather than the latter should be the deciding factor in judging a writer’s work sufficiently ‘profound’ to be art.”

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  1. Presumably Ulin wants Faulkner’s books to be sources of wisdom, while I want them to be sources of aesthetic delight. But I can see no reason why the former rather than the latter should be the deciding factor in judging a writer’s work sufficiently ‘profound’ to be art.”————->

    Does there have to be an either/or opposition? Surely the novel is capable of all these things – aesthetic delight and moral/human inquiry? It is an arid world that asks art to only aspire or achieve one of these dimensions.

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