ON ART AND ARTISTS by Aldous Huxley


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Aldous Huxley is one of the most diverse and comprehensive writers of the contemporary world. This book makes available to the reader for the first time an anthology of Huxley's comments concerning art and the artist, excerpted from a number of his books. The first section deals with aesthetics; here the author seeks to explain the connection between art and thought in general -- between art and religion, between art and morals. The author believes that the limiting factor in art is the cultural conditioning of the artist -- great art is sincere art, art that expresses man in his environment. Certainly the most interesting section is the one that deals with tragedy and the whole truth. This later concept is the central theme of the book. In the section on Criticism, Huxley concentrates on particular works of art in an effort to establish an absolute standard of artistic merit based on the general principles outlined in the first section. He concludes that good art has a quality of character which must always express itself in the work -- the virtue of integrity, of honesty towards oneself. There are subdivisions on each major area of art: literature, painting, architecture, philosophy and music. His remarkably wide range of ideas and facts are presented in a challenging way and it will be clear that these essays are rich in information and ideas.

Publisher: Harper