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This book proposes a new approach to the problem of aesthetic experience in Western culture. Noting how art world phenomena evoke conventional psychoanalytic speculations about narcissism, the authors turn the tables and apply aesthetic questions and concerns to psychoanalytic theory. Experimenting with Freudian and post-Freudian concepts, they propose a non-normative theory of the psychic drive to address and embrace deep tensions in the post-Renaissance aesthetic project, the rise of modernism, and the contemporary art world. It is argued that these tensions reflect central conflicts in the development of patriarchal civilization, which the emergence of the aesthetic domain, as a specialized range of practice, exposes and subverts. The postmodern era of aesthetic reflection is interpreted as the outcome of a complex narcissistic dialectic of idealization and de-idealization that is significant for the understanding of contemporary culture and its historical prospects.
|Publication date:||1st January 2012|
|Author:||Harvey Giesbrecht, Charles Levin|
|Publisher:||Editions Rodopi B.V. an imprint of Brill|