Metapoetics: Aphorisms, Thoughts and Maxims on Life, Art and Music

Metapoetics: Aphorisms, Thoughts and Maxims on Life, Art and Music

by Christopher Wintle


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Among the ancients, instruction in drama and letters - poetics - mixed craft, precept and criticism quite freely; in our time, pedagogy, aesthetics and critical theory are usually kept firmly apart. This collection of 'aphorisms, thoughts and maxims' repairs something of the split by organizing the precepts that stand behind the making and reception of the arts into a unified 'metapoetics'. The book reflects on its own lapidary manner, investigates three representative theatres of life (power, love and death), and asserts our continuing need for the Gods and magic. It then moves from life into art, explores art, artists and the ethics of art, argues for the continuing relevance of notions of beauty, truth and genius, ponders style, and probes music, song and opera. Finally it returns to 'life' with thoughts on criticism and its practise. An appendix addresses other arts, notably film. The main text, which is both serious and witty, is illuminated throughout with examples from writings and culture of all periods. The book is richly illustrated with a set of mythic Beasts by the celebrated Anglo-Brazilian artist, Ana Maria Pacheco.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780956600714
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 12/14/2010
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi

A Note on the Artist xix

Introduction: Thinking about Thought

Keeping it Brief

1 On Aphorisms 3

2 On Thoughts 5

3 On Maxims (not forgetting Proverbs) 6

Part 1 Power (Money, Fame etc.), Love and Death

1 Minding Your Own Business

1 Three Cheers for His Lordship! 11

2 Suaviter in modo 14

3 Taking Stock 15

4 Going, Going, Gone! 17

2 Love, a Dream?

1 Tell Me Some Truths about Love 18

2 Venus and Cupid (blindfold) 21

3 Home is where Love Starts from 23

4 Art into Love, Love into Art 25

5 Death of the Heart 26

3 A Notable Death

1 A Dying Fall 28

2 The Theatre of Death 30

3 The End, Actually 32

Part 2 The Gods and Magic

1 The Homecoming of the Gods

1 The Gods Defined 37

2 Art and Religion 40

2 "You See, I Perform Magic"

1 Magic in Art 43

2 Magic in Life 45

Part 3 Life into Art, Artists, Ethics of Art

1 Life into Art

1 Life into Art, Art into Art 49

2 Art 53

2 The Artist and His First Dose of Pox

1 The Artist 59

2 The Artist and the Other 65

3 The Ethics of Art

1 Maxims and Thoughts on Art 70

2 Maxims on Artists and Teachers 75

3 Ars theorica 76

Part 4 Beauty, Truth and Genius

1 Whence Beauty?

1 Beauty 81

2 Kitsch 86

2 The Carp of Truth

1 Truth 88

2 Wisdom 90

3 Scholars and Thinkers 91

3 How Genius Strides! 93

Part 5 Style and the Arts, Music

1 The Quest for Simplicity 99

2 "Die heilige Musik!"

1 Was ist Musik? 105

2 Musical Time and Musical Feeling 107

3 Musical Form 108

4 Three Maxims on Musical Contrast 110

5 Words and Music 111

6 Opera 114

Part 6 Critics

A Brush with the Critics

1 Critics 127

2 Practical Criticism 130


Notes on the Other Arts, Sport Not Excluded

1 Sport, Sculpture and Painting 137

2 Theatre and Cinema 140

3 Maxims on Film (on a Festival of Michelangelo Antonioni at the National Film Theatre, 2005-06) 143

Catalogue of 'Beasts' Ana Maria Pacheco 145

Index 151

A Note on Copyright 155

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