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Artistic Detachment in Japan and the West: Psychic Distance in Comparative Aesthetics

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Overview

Artistic Detachment in Japan and the West takes up thenotion of artistic detachment, or psychic distance, as an intercultural motif for East-West comparative aesthetics. The work begins with an overview of aesthetic theory in the West from the eighteenth century empiricists to contemporary aesthetics and concludes with a survey of various critiques of psychic distance. Throughout the author takes a highly innovative approach by juxtaposing Western aesthetic theory against Eastern (primarily Japanese) aesthetic theory.

Weaving between cultures and time periods, the author focuses on a remarkably wide range of theories: in the West, the Kantian notion of disinterested contemplation, Heidegger's Gelassenheit, semiotics, and pragmatism; in Japan, Zeami's notion of riken no ken, the Kyoto School's interpretation of nothingness, D.T. Suzuki's analysis of the function of no-mind, and the writings of Kuki Shuzo on Buddhist detachment. "Portrait of the artist" fiction by such writers as Henry James, James Joyce, Mori Ogai, and Natsume Soseki demonstrates how the main theme of detachment is expressed in literary traditions. The role of sympathy or pragmatism in relation to disinterest is examined, suggesting conflicts within or challenges to the notion of detachment.

Author Bio: Steve Odin is professor of philosophy at the University of Hawaii, where he teaches Japanese and comparative philosophy. He is the author of The Social Self in Zen and American Pragmatism.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Odin (Japanese and comparative philosophy, U. of Hawai'i) takes the notion of artistic detachment as an intercultural motif for east-west comparative aesthetics. After overviewing aesthetic attitude theories of artistic detachment in the west from the 18th-century empiricists, he juxtaposes western and eastern<-->particularly Japanese<-- >aesthetic theory. There are no illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824823740
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, The
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Artistic Detachment as an Intercultural Theme 1
Pt. 1 Artistic Detachment East and West
1 Artistic Detachment in Western Aesthetics 27
2 Artistic Detachment in Japanese Aesthetics 99
3 An East-West Phenomenology of the Aesthetic Attitude 170
Pt. 2 Psychic Distance in Literature East and West
4 Psychic Distance in Modern Western Literature 199
5 Psychic Distance in Modern Japanese Literature 214
Glossary 281
References 283
Index of Names 291
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