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Philosophy of the Arts

Music

Art Versus Life

Oh, how art makes a mockery of life. Of late, enjoying profoundly the great jazz classics — the likes of Miles Davis, Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh , Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy — I feel horrible. I feel about how what they did was make stuff that intimated them to an anonymous audience, and subsequently died.

I feel a profound hostility rising towards art, next to loving it deeply. I guess the enjoyment itself is impertinent: Here I am, in intimate communion with these long deceased musicians — in contact with them whilst they no longer are.

This goes to show that art is not communication. Wollheim scores again.

Wollheim, Richard. 2001. “A Reply to the Contributors.” In Richard Wollheim on the Art of Painting. Art as Representation and Expression, edited by Rob van Gerwen, 241–263. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

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