Bourdieu on Aesthetics, Science and the Production of Truth

Okay, so I’ve given up on blogging ’cause it’s a distraction from “real” work and because it’s easier to say short things elsewhere. But I feel compelled to share the brilliance of the following quotes with the world, and they didn’t fit in a status update.

“The love of art, like love itself, even and especially of the amour fou kind, feels founded in its object. It is in order to convince oneself of being right in (or having reasons for) loving that such love so often has recourse to commentary, to that sort of apologetic discourse that the believer addresses to himself or herself and which, as well as its minimal effect of redoubling his or her belief, may also awaken and summon others to that belief. This is why scientific analysis, when it is able to uncover what makes the work of art necessary, that is to say, its informing formula, its generative principle, its raison d’être, also furnishes artistic experience, and the pleasure which accompanies it, with its best justification, its richest nourishment. Through it, sensible love of the work can fulfil itself in a sort of amor intellectualis rei, the assimilation of the object to the subject and the immersion of the subject in the object, the active surrender to the singular necessity of the literary object (which, more often than not, is itself the product of a similar submission).”

“Renouncing the angelic belief in a pure interest in pure form is the price we must pay for understanding the logic of those social universes which, through the social alchemy of their historical laws of functioning, succeed in extracting from the often merciless clash of passions and selfish interests the sublimated essence of the universal. It is to offer a vision more true and, ultimately, more reassuring, because less superhuman, of the highest achievements of the human enterprise.”

Pierre Bourdieu, The Rules of Art, xvii and xvii.

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