Marxist Aesthetics: The foundations within everyday life for an emancipated consciousness (Routledge Revivals)
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Originally published in 1984, this study deals with a number of influential figures in the European tradition of Marxist theories of aesthetics, ranging from Lukacs to Benjamin, through the Frankfurt School, to Brecht and the Althusserians. Pauline Johnson shows that, despite the great diversity in these theories about art, they all formulate a common problem, and she argues that an adequate response to this problem must be based on account of the practical foundations within the recipient's own experience for a changed consciousness.
the Stalinist period. From this he concludes that Lukács is the ‘only important expounder of the so-called “aesthetic ideal” of Zhandovism’.4 Deutscher completely overlooks the fact that Lukács’s theory is grounded in a humanistic analysis of society. Lukács rejects modernism for its acquiescence in a ‘bad’ de-humanising present. The essential humanism of the theory of realism lends support to Lukács’s own claim that, although ‘direct opposition was impossible’, his theory did not make any
social concerns is essential to art. He also refuses to accept the notion that progressive art must be guided by a didactic intent. While Lukács stresses that the realist work may have a practical effect on social concerns, its impact can, he says, only be an indirect one. The impact of the work of art on the practical concerns of everyday life is derived from its ability to cause a change in the general character of the recipient’s consciousness. Art achieves a ‘human preparedness’ and only
great lengths to ensure the quality of this reprint but points out that some imperfections in the original copies may be apparent. Disclaimer The publisher has made every effort to trace copyright holders and welcomes correspondence from those they have been unable to contact. A Library of Congress record exists under LC Control Number: 83019102 ISBN 13: 978-0-415-60908-1 (hbk) ISBN 13: 978-0-203-83270-7 (ebk) Marxist aesthetics The foundations within everyday life for an emancipated
following discussion assesses the adequacy of Brecht’s appeal to the spectator’s reason in establishing the enlightening ability of his theatre. Brecht asserts that his conception of the audience is quite different from the perspective typical of ‘bourgeois’ theatre. Whereas classical theatre views its audience as a ‘mob’, which ‘must and can only be reached through its emotions’, Brechtian theatre ‘holds that the audience is a collection of individuals, capable of thinking and reasoning and
perpetuation of the given relations of production. Eagleton’s critique of this proposition considers only the inadequacy of the treatment it receives in Althusser’s hands. We saw earlier that Althusser’s suggestion that the individual is ‘always-already’ a subject with an appropriate consciousness precludes the possibility of an analysis of the foundations within everyday life for a resistant consciousness. Eagleton rightly points out that Kristeva’s work on signifying practice and the