The Philistine Controversy

Overview

In this fascinating study, Dave Beech and John Roberts develop what theycall a ‘counter-intuitive’ notion of the philistine, claiming that what thephilistine tells us about cultural division and exclusion is more persuasivethan the theories of the popular and the ‘otherly-cultured’ in cultural studiesand postmodernism. The ‘counter-intuitive’ philistine, they contest, returnsthe cultural debate to the problems of the persistence of power, privilege andsymbolic violence. Asserting that the relations between power ...
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Overview

In this fascinating study, Dave Beech and John Roberts develop what theycall a ‘counter-intuitive’ notion of the philistine, claiming that what thephilistine tells us about cultural division and exclusion is more persuasivethan the theories of the popular and the ‘otherly-cultured’ in cultural studiesand postmodernism. The ‘counter-intuitive’ philistine, they contest, returnsthe cultural debate to the problems of the persistence of power, privilege andsymbolic violence. Asserting that the relations between power and art have beenuntheorized in recent studies, Beech and Roberts find their critical resourcesin the least likely place: not in the ‘best of things’, but in that which has’no proper place’.

The book also includes several in-depth responses to the Beech and Robertsthesis by leading scholars in the field of cultural theory, together with theauthors’ replies to their critics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859848425
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 6/17/2002
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John Roberts is Professor of Art and Aesthetics at the University of Wolverhampton. His books include The Art of Interruption: Realism, Photography and the Everyday; The Philistine Controversy (with Dave Beech), Philosophizing the Everyday, and The Necessity of Errors. He is also a contributor to Radical Philosophy, Oxford Art Journal, Historical Materialism, Third Text, and Cabinet magazine. He lives in London.

Malcolm Bull is a theorist and art historian who teaches at Oxford. His books include Seeing Things Hidden, The Mirror of the Gods, and Anti-Nietzsche. He is on the editorial board of New Left Review and writes for the London Review of Books.

Esther Leslie is a lecturer in English and Humanities at Birkbeck College, London. She is the author of Walter Benjamin: Overpowering Conformism and sits on the editorial boards of Historical Materialism, Radical Philosophy and Revolutionary History.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
The Philistine Controversy: Introduction 1
Pt. 1 The New Left Review debate
Spectres of the Aesthetic 13
The Ecstasy of Philistinism 48
Confessions of a 'New Aesthete': A Response to the 'New Philistines' 73
Against Voluptuous Bodies: Of Satiation Without Happiness 103
Tolerating Impurities: An Ontology, Genealogy and Defence of Philistinism 125
Another Third Way? 161
Pt. 2 Philistine Modes of Attention
The Sadeian Aesthetic: A Critical View 175
Philistines and Art Vandals Get Upset 201
When Art Works Crack(le) 228
The Legions of the Blind: The Philistine and Cultural Studies 255
The Philistine and the Logic of Negation 272
Notes on Contributors 300
Index 301
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