Elements in the structure are, no doubt, suggested to the architect by other things, but, in asking whether it is good architecture, we do not concern ourselves with the question of what suggested it. Even then, however, the aesthetic question, the question of distinguishing as we do distinguish between the aesthetically good and bad, would still have to be raised. Thus we find Croce remarking in Breviario di Estetica ; quoted by E. Carritt, Philosophies of Beauty , p. What offends us in false and faulty work is the unresolved discord of different moods, their mere superimposition or confusion or their alternation, which gets but a superficial unity forced upon it by the author, who for this purpose makes use of some abstract idea or plan or of some unaesthetic passion.
It is thus implied that the aesthetic question is whether the things have these characters, that beauty resides in the structure of such things and not in skilful evocation of feeling or in enjoyment of feeling. And we shall certainly not suppose that such characters are found only in feeling or in mentality, unless we take the idealist view which is itself founded on a relativism similar to that which we have considered that all things are mental; and even the idealists have to distinguish phases or levels of mentality and to recognise structure at all levels.
But the main point is that the treatment of aesthetic objects in terms of their relations, resembling, expressing, or what not, is a mere obstacle to aesthetic science. The realist aesthetician demands that a work of art should have a real theme and that the theme should be properly worked out, i. A bad work, on this view, exhibits heterogeneity or absence of a single theme as is suggested by Croce and disconnection.
Failure in construction can, of course, be recognised just as we recognise a gap or fallacious transition in an argument. Material is inserted which does not belong to the theme, and instead of having a structure we have a fabrication. This incongruity appears also on the side of appreciation, in the notion, e.
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The realist position, in opposition to romanticism or idealism, is forcibly stated by Shaw in the Preface to Plays Pleasant. Idealism, which is only a flattering name for romance in politics and morals, is as obnoxious to me as romance in ethics or religion. In spite of a Liberal Revolution or two, I can no longer be satisfied with fictitious morals and fictitious good conduct, shedding fictitious glory on robbery, starvation, disease, crime, drink, war, cruelty, cupidity, and all the other commonplaces of civilisation which drive men to the theatre in order to make foolish pretences that such things are progress, science, morals, religion, patriotism, imperial supremacy, national greatness, and all the other names the newspapers call them.
And with that hint as to what I am driving at, I withdraw and ring up the curtain. Shaw, that is, demands that drama and the same will apply to any other art should be natural and historical, that it should present real themes in their actual order. This position is not weakened by Shaw's own lapses into romanticism; and it is not opposed to the presentation of human beings labouring under illusions , as drama constantly does.
Rather, as Shaw indicates, it supports presentation of such natural conditions. So, whatever analysis or translation is possible in the case of dreams, there is fabrication in criticism of works of art, when they are found to symbolise some spiritual entity or ideal, and especially the spiritual state or strivings of the artist.
The conditions of the study of the mentality of the artist and of his work of production should now be clearer; and, in particular, it should be clear that this is not a part of aesthetics, however it may be connected with aesthetic matters. Expressionist and similar confusions, then, have to be removed from current views of the nature of the artist's procedure.
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If the formula is not to be taken as expressionist, then, it must be that the artist, in producing his work, is asserting himself against obstacles, and, in view of the theme dissociation or sundering from self of Ulysses , these might be taken to be inner obstacles. It is suggested, that is to say, that conflict is a condition of artistic work, and that the work enables the conflict to be overcome.
This is not, of course, an aesthetic characterisation of the work. But it may be held that the building up of the work out of diverse materials, the bringing into a single structure of apparently conflicting phases, corresponds to the overcoming of the artist's inner conflict; i.
Thus the artist would solve his own mental problem, or disentangle a certain complication in his mind, in solving the aesthetic problem, i. This would give a certain aesthetic characterisation of the work, viz. To say, then, that a work is produced by the overcoming of a conflict in the author's mind and, if we take that view, that the conflict is strongest when he is dealing with human material, is not to say that we can discuss the work in terms of the author's personality — not even if the material is taken from his personality.
But in any case the subject is despair, and, whatever the writer or a reader may feel, it is not his despair but despair as such that is in question. If the opposite view be taken, there can be no aesthetic discussion. Nevertheless, it is still possible that appreciation as well as creation solves inner conflicts.
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The conception of art as overcoming conflicts is also put forward by Shaw. He brings out the characters the hidden conflicts of persons and things, and thus creates the drama, because he is not afraid to expose himself. As Norwood puts it Euripides and Shaw , pp. Through this power he reveals the real woman behind Miss Garnett's brassy respectability, the inmost soul of the superficially benevolent Candida, the unsuspected weakness of Morell the clergyman. The description of the function of the artist as exposure may be taken as simply a way of stating the aesthetic fact of exposition or presentation of a theme, though there is a certain romantic suggestion of bringing out the underlying essence of things.
Romanticism appears more definitely in the theory of art propounded in The Dark Lady of the Sonnets — where Shaw, however, may be merely indicating what he takes to be the romanticism of Shakespeare. The Man: … But though you spake with the tongues of angels, as indeed you do, yet know that I am the king of words — The Lady: A king, ha!
The Man: No less. We are poor things, we men and women — The Lady: Dare you call me woman? The Man: What nobler name can I tender you? How else can I love you? Yet you may well shrink from the name; have I not said we are but poor things? Yet there is a power that can redeem us.
The Lady: Gramercy for your sermon, sir. I hope I know my duty. The Man: This is no sermon, but the living truth. The power I speak of is the power of immortal poesy. For know that vile as this world is, and worms as we are, you have but to invest all this vileness with a magical garment of words to transfigure us and uplift our souls till earth flowers into a million heavens. In the theory of the artist overcoming his inner conflict by producing works of art, there is nothing to affect their aesthetic independence.
But in this conception of art as spiritually uplifting, as overcoming what is vile in life, there is definite aesthetic confusion. In other words, art is conceived functionally or representationally, just as in the conception of it as a solace. The point is further illustrated in a later passage in the play. The Dark Lady: Ay, I am as like to be saved as thou that believest naught save some black magic of words and verses — I say, madam, as I am a living woman I came here to break with him for ever.
Oh, madam, if you would know what misery is, listen to this man that is more than man and less at the same time. He will tie you down to anatomise your very soul: he will wring tears of blood from your humiliation; and then he will heal the wound with flatteries that no woman can resist.
Nevertheless, there is a psychical conflict between the attitudes of seizing and evading, and a social conflict between art and comfort. Joyce's poems, in fact, serve admirably to illustrate the question of works whose content is feelings. We see at once that the theory of the lyrical character of art, as involving the identity of creative urge and artistic product, is not true even of the lyric. In his poems generally Joyce may be said to adopt the attitude of the young lover, but this is really to say that he presents it, and whether or not he is a young lover is not relevant to our appreciation, e.
The sly reeds whisper to the night A name — her name — And all my soul is a delight, A swoon of shame. It is as they work out their themes that the poems are to be appreciated, and not in respect of how Joyce came to compose them or of what they reveal about his personality.
They are frankly Elizabethan lyrics, composed in a Herrick-like fashion, and following a long-established tradition in the most deliberate manner. As far as these poems are concerned Joyce was a cistern. He held beautifully what he had imbibed but he brought little that was new to it.
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An occasional turn of thought, a brief flare, an unusual moment or two toward the end of the small volume, is all that we find of Joyce's personality in these verses. And again, Joyce, it is rumoured, took his poetry seriously, speaking of it in an arrogant manner and comparing himself to the Elizabethans. No more indelible proof of his careful refusal to be swallowed up in the vast pool of the Celtic Renascence is needed. The same applies to the question of Joyce's personality, which, Gorman says, is rarely evident in the book, but of which certain manifestations are present.
If he was, he might still have failed to present that theme. And if the poet is one who is able to present his solitariness or his haughty self-concern, it still has to be appreciated in its own character and not as his. Gorman is right in finding in the last two poems a change in the kind of mood presented, though, as has been suggested, they are the culmination of the general theme.
Lean out of the window, Goldenhair, I heard you singing A merry air. My book is closed; I read no more, Watching the fire dance On the floor. I have left my book, I have left my room, For I heard you singing Through the gloom. Singing and singing A merry air. Lean out of the window, Goldenhair. In the last poems of the series there is a transition to loss of love, the second last, treating not directly of love but of a mood of the lover, being preliminary to the last, in which this final phase of the theme comes out definitely. The grey winds, the cold winds are blowing Where I go.
I hear the noise of many waters Far below. All day, all night, I hear them flowing To and fro. This last, though it completes the development of the general theme, is itself a work of art, a great and terrible poem. I hear an army charging upon the land, And the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees.
Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand, Disdaining the reins, with fluttering whips, the charioteers. They cry unto the night their battlename: I moan in sleep when I hear afar their whirling laughter. They cleave the gloom of dreams, a blinding flame, Clanging, clanging upon the heart as upon an anvil. They come shaking in triumph their long, green hair: They come out of the sea and run shouting by the shore.
My heart, have you no wisdom thus to despair? My love, my love, my love, why have you left me alone? There is in this poem a notable divergence between two lines of thought. This is not a failure to achieve singleness of theme, because a certain conflict is the theme. And even in these lines the divergence remains, between the wisdom appealed to and the despair presented in the heart-cry of the last line. Thus Joyce presents, on the one hand, personifications as imagined by despair or other deluded feelings, as still wanted by despairing love, and, as against this, bringing out its illusory character, the recognition of objectivity by wisdom.
But the conflict between subjectivism and objectivism is characteristic of despair itself, which swings between the recognition of loss and the desire to retain or regain the illusion.
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And this is connected with its being despair in love. We find in the loved one everything we want; we find a friendly world, one which is akin to us, which denies us nothing, because it has given us all in the person of the loved one. It is thus, at the height of love, that our heart beats with the heart of things, that romantically we find all things to be tending our love. Our wisdom recognition of the fact that things, and the loved one, do not after all answer to our wishes but act objectively, in their own way serves only to reinforce our despair, our sense of loss, and our vain struggle to regain.
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