Paul’s pick for February is “Infecting, Simulating, Judging: Tolstoy’s Search for an Aesthetic Standard” by Tatyana Gershkovich. The article appears in latest issue of the Journal of the History of Ideas.
Much of the previous scholarship on What is Art? has examined the criteria
Tolstoy uses to judge works of art. In this article, in contrast, I interrogate
his argument for the very possibility of aesthetic judgment at all. On what
grounds does he claim that one artwork ought to please everyone more
than another? I argue that many of the paradoxes and contradictions of
Tolstoy’s aesthetic worldview grow out of his attempt to establish a nonarbitrary,
universal aesthetic standard.
Click here to download this free article and learn more about the Journal of the History of Ideas.
Check the Penn Press Log in March for Paul’s next pick.