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On Trust Art and the Temptations of Suspicion cover
  • ISBN: 9780300079913
  • ISBN10: 0300079915

On Trust Art and the Temptations of Suspicion

by Gabriel Josipovici

  • List Price: $45.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 12/01/1999
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In this wide-ranging book, an eminent novelist, playwright, and literary critic explores the question that has troubled artists and philosophers (though not critics) since the time of the Romantics: is it possible to create art today with the freedom of earlier ages and yet produce works that are more than merely decorative or commercial? Such a question, argues Gabriel Josipovici, is not timeless; it has a history, and a relatively short one at that. Why is it only with the Romantics that suspicion, not just of motive but of the very tools of art, language, and form, has become so insistent? Why could Shakespeare depict suspicion with such power and insight in the figures of Hamlet and lago, yet himself work with such apparent ease within the conventions of his time?

To understand Romantic suspicion, the author argues, we need to understand what it supplanted and why. To that end he turns to the work created in what he calls cultures of trust, to Homer and the Hebrew Bible, to Dante and Shakespeare, before examining the interplay of trust and suspicion in a number of Romantic and post-Romantic writers from Wordsworth to Beckett. In a final chapter Josipovici draws on Wittgenstein's later work to round out his argument that making comes before knowing, utterance before understanding, and that trust is not blind faith but rather a deep confidence in our being in the world and therefore in time and language. It is out of such confidence, he concludes, that art is always made, even if it is an art, like that of Kafka and Beckett, that turns the light of suspicion fiercely on itself.

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Midtown Scholar Bookstore

Location: Harrisburg, PA
0300079915 Bumped and creased book with tears to the extremities, but not affecting the text block-GOOD.
Cellar Stories Bookstore

Location: Providence, RI
Very Good
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0300079915 294 pp., 8vo. Hardcover in dj. Light rubbing, flexing & shelfwear
Murphy-Brookfield Books

Location: Iowa City SE, IA
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0300079915 clean, unmarked copy.