Artistic Detachment in Japan and the West
Psychic Distance in Comparative Aesthetics
Publication Year: 2001
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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I wrote this book as a 1994–1995 Fulbright scholar at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. I would especially like to thank Professor Tanaka Hideyoshi from the Aesthetics Department as well as Professors Noe Keiichi, Ano Fumio, and Numata Hiroyuki at Tohoku University for their encouragement. Many...
Introduction: Artistic Detachment as an Intercultural Theme
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This book takes up the notion of artistic detachment, or psychic distance, as an intercultural motif for East-West comparative aesthetics. Specifically we will examine the notion of beauty as a function of psychic distance in Western and Japanese aesthetics, including both the philosophical and the literary traditions. On the Western side...
Part One: Artistic Detachment East and West
1. Artistic Detachment in Western Aesthetics
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The use of “disinterestedness” or “disinterested contemplation” to describe aesthetic perception first became widespread after Immanuel Kant, who spoke of delight in beauty as that which satisfies “without interest” (ohne Interesse). But in an important series of papers Jerome Stolnitz traces the principle of disinterestedness back to what...
2. Artistic Detachment in Japanese Aesthetics
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The Japanese tradition of Zen aestheticism has articulated a variety of highly refined, elegant, and pervasive qualities of atmospheric beauty such as aware (sad beauty), y
3. An East-West Phenomenology of the Aesthetic Attitude
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In concluding Part One of the book, I want to outline a phenomenological interpretation of the aesthetic attitude of disinterested contemplation as articulated by both the Western and Japanese philosophical traditions. While the argument gradually unfolds in the course of exposition, it is worth outlining some advantages of this...
Part Two: Psychic Distance in Literature East and West
4. Psychic Distance in Modern Western Literature
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The problem of psychic distance as a factor in art and beauty has been explored not only in the field of academic philosophy but in modern and postmodern literature as well. The notion of psychic distance has been thematized, for example, in the “portrait of- the-artist” novel that proliferated in the late nineteenth- and early...
5. Psychic Distance in Modern Japanese Literature
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Whereas Nishida Kitarò (1870–1945) became the leading philosophical representative of the “modernization” process during the Meiji Restoration (1868–1912) through his attempt to synthesize Eastern and Western values, the novelists Mori Ògai (1862–1922) and Natsume Sòseki (1867–1916) were his counterparts in Japanese...
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Index of Names
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Publication Year: 2001