Pleasure and the Arts: Enjoying Literature, Painting, and Music

Paperback | October 27, 2005

byChristopher Butler

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How do the arts give us pleasure? Covering a very wide range of artistic works, from Auden to David Lynch, Rembrandt to Edward Weston, and Richard Strauss to Keith Jarrett, Pleasure and the Arts offers us an explanation of our enjoyable emotional engagements with literature, music, andpainting.The arts direct us to intimate and particularized relationships - with the people represented in the works, or with those we imagine produced them. When we listen to music or look at a purely abstract painting, or when we drink a glass of wine, can we enjoy the experience without verbalizing ourresponse? Do our interpretative assumptions, our awareness of technique, and our attitudes to fantasy, get in the way of our appreciation of art, or enhance it? As the book examines these questions and more, we discover how curiosity drives us to enjoy narratives, ordinary jokes, metaphors, andmodernist epiphanies, and how narrative in all the arts can order and provoke intense enjoyment. Pleasurable in its own right, Pleasure and the Arts presents a sparkling explanation of the enduring interest of artistic expression.

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How do the arts give us pleasure? Covering a very wide range of artistic works, from Auden to David Lynch, Rembrandt to Edward Weston, and Richard Strauss to Keith Jarrett, Pleasure and the Arts offers us an explanation of our enjoyable emotional engagements with literature, music, andpainting.The arts direct us to intimate and particu...

Christopher Butler is Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford and Student of Christ Church.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.57 inPublished:October 27, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199288720

ISBN - 13:9780199288724

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Jokes, Poems, Understanding2. Emotions and Narrative3. Beyond Words: Sensation, Abstraction, and Form4. Specificity, Fantasy, and Critique