Re: ART: What Art Is

Date: Sun May 28 2000 - 12:22:41 MDT

( :-D) Dan, let me buy you a Long Island Ice Tea!
In a message dated Sat, 27 May 2000 9:31:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Dan Adams <> writes:

<< It's sad that Rand wasted such a brilliant mind on
such a defeatist, "mental-masturbatory" philosophy...

and, before I get flamed for that statement, I realize
we all share her ideals of independence. Nonetheless,
as one who has studied her work thoroughly, I feel
confident (though, granted, not infallible) in saying
that she turned a golden ideal into an empty


--- Technotranscendence <>
> _What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand_ by
> Louis Torres and Michelle
> Marder Kamhi is out. I just picked up a copy today
> in Princeton.
> From the book description:
> "Cultural icon Ayn Rand (1905-1982) was known as
> much for her philosophy as
> for her fiction. Her original theory of esthetics,
> which attacks many
> "masterpieces" of modernist art, is as combative and
> controversial as any of
> her work, but until now has received little serious
> scrutiny. In What Art
> Is, the authors demonstrate that Rand's ideas are
> supported by evidence from
> other academic fields."
> From the Back Cover (also as
> "What is art? The arts establishment has a simple
> answer: anything is art if
> a reputed artist or expert says it is. Though many
> people are skeptical
> about the alleged new art forms that have
> proliferated since the early
> twentieth century, today's critics claim that all
> such work, however
> incomprehensible, is art.
> "A groundbreaking alternative to this view is
> provided by
> philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand (1905 1982). Best
> known as the author of The
> Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Rand also created
> an original and
> illuminating theory of art, which confirms the
> widespread view that much of
> today's purported art is really not art at all.
> "In What Art Is, Torres and Kamhi present a lucid
> introduction to Rand's
> esthetic theory, contrasting her ideas with those of
> other thinkers. They
> conclude that, in its basic principles, her account
> is compelling, and is
> corroborated by evidence from anthropology,
> neurology, cognitive science,
> and psychology.
> "The authors apply Rand's theory to a debunking of
> the work of prominent
> modernists and postmodernists from Mondrian, Jackson
> Pollock, and Samuel
> Beckett to John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and other
> highly regarded
> postmodernist figures. Finally, they explore the
> implications of Rand's
> ideas for the issues of government and corporate
> support of the arts, art
> law, and arts education."
> It should mentioned that this book is _not_
> uncritical of Rand's views.
> Daniel Ust

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