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The following is crossposted from the aesthetics list with permission of the originator. I thought his Gauthier quote fit in with our recent art thread:


From: Teemu Pyyluoma on 26.03.97 19.07

For the sake of definition:
How about focused disinterestedness (a contradiction in terms, I know)?
Like not asking a work of art to be something it isn't. For example
Conrad's _Heart of Darkness_ could be considered racist, Jim Carrey might
not be much of an actor, but the former is still well written and the later
is occasionaly quite funny.

This isn't exactly what Theophile Gauthier was aiming at (or what his irony
was aimed at), but some what in line with his writing: "What is the good of
this book? In what way can it be applied to the moral and physical
improvement of our most numerous and poorest class? Why there is not a word
in it on the needs of society, nothing civilising, nothing progressive...
(it's value is that it keeps people from) reading useful, virtuous, and
progressive newspapers, or other indigestible and degrading drugs"

Just a thought.


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