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Reviews135 rehabilitated, and for his sakewe had better restore the genius/ratbagdistinction. Ward cannot conceive that a man can be a genius and moral visionary but absurd and morally tainted. (Hence his ludicrous attempt to acquit Dostoyevsky ofchauvinism.) Yet this is one ofthe themes of Dostoyevsky's writing. The noble and the base, the sublime and the ridiculous are often combined, hence much of Dostoyevsky's humor. But humor is what Ward desperately lacks. He is boring, deadly dull. This is pardy because he sees Dostoyevsky as a prophet not a novelist (whose genius is not impugned by the failure of his novels as propaganda) and pardy because he cannot see anything the slightest bit funny in "The Pope—the Leader of Socialism." Don't buy it. Massey University, New ZealandC. R. Pigden Selected Papers in Aesthetics, by Roman Ingarden; edited by PeterJ. McCormick; 268 pp. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1985, $59.95. In his introduction McCormick describes Ingarden as "probably one of the most thoughtful students of aesthetics in the twentieth century and certainly one of the greatest philosophers in Poland's long history" (p. 7). This very generous assessment seems justified. Admittedly, Poland, in its long history, had no Scotus, Descartes, Hume, Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, or even Marx, so there isn't much competition for Ingarden from past centuries. But she has since made up for ages of torpor by producing Brzozowski, Chwistek, Witkiewicz , Elzenberg, Tarski, Lukasiewicz, Ajdukiewicz, and Kolakowski, all more or less Ingarden's contemporaries. As for the first claim, measured as it has to be, on a much larger scale, it would require morejustification than McCormick offers. In a word, the value of Ingarden's work is that it defends art against all comers, be they politicians demanding conformity—Stalinists removed Ingarden from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow in the fifties, be they the general public forever seeking comforting "messages" and authorial revelations, or be they instrumentalists and reductionists ofwhatever ideological persuasion (currently mad Marxists and truculent sociologists). Ingarden cared deeply for artistic culture and he constandy referred his theoretical claims to specific works of art, thus ensuring the relevance and good sense of his conclusions. In "On So-Called Truth in Literature," he draws on a very wide range of literary and nonliterary examples in acknowledgment of the complexity of the problem. The many aestheticians who fail to keep this connection alive end up writing bizarre nonsense. But the perennial problem 136Philosophy and Literature is how to persuade that Ingarden and some others are right. Ifthe accumulated experiences of ages are anything to go by, humanity will go on alternately enjoying art in its own perverse ways, or destroying it when its mood changes— caring not a bit for the broad Ingardenian theses, never mind their subdeties and distinctions. The present selection consists ofeight papers and a monumentalbibliography of works by and on Ingarden, which takes up over a quarter of the book. McCormick endeavors to convince us that he has put together a balanced representation ofIngarden's crucial works, but he has simply gathered scattered papers that have become available in translation since 1961. In addition to the one already cited, these include: "On Philosophical Aesthetics," "Phenomenological Aesthetics: An Attemptat Defining Its Range," "A Marginal Commentary on Aristotie's Poetics," "Psychologism and Psychology in Literary Scholarship," "Artistic and Aesthetic Value," "Aesthetic Experience and Aesthetic Object," and "The Physicalistic Theory of Language and the Work of Literature." Nor has McCormick paid much attention to the detail of editorial responsibilities . The paper on psychologism is preceded by the translator's (John Fizer's) useful introduction, but such material should either have been incorporated into the editor's general introduction or each paper given a similar separate introduction for consistency's sake. Moreover, in this book obviously aimed at readers with no German, Fizer is allowed to quote in German some crucial sentences from Ingarden's The Literary Work of Art, which he refers to as Das Literarische Kunstwerk and claims, against McCormick's testimony to the contrary, that it is not yet available in English. Ingarden's own texts have not been checked for similar inconsistencies and Husserl's work is sometimes referred...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 135-136
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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