Skip to comments.Art, Music and the Wagnerian Dilemma
Posted on 03/23/2011 7:00:47 AM PDT by EllisWashingtonReport
Symposium: Art, music and the Wagnerian dilemma
Richard Wagner, German Romantic composer
Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's filmmaker
Wimsatt & Beardsley, The New Criticism School
Ezra Pound, American expatriate poet
Publius, Pupil of Socrates and conflicted lover of Wagner's music
Socrates: We are gathered here today at my Symposium to discuss the venerated discipline of aesthetics and to seek to answer this question of the ages Can immoral art be good? Or more pointedly, can an immoral person create good art?
Wimsatt & Beardsley: Yes, Socrates, philosophers call this paradox the intentional fallacy, which developed in the New Criticism School of the 1930s and was first used by us in a 1946 essay. A long-running debate in philosophy has centered around the question of whether art that is morally bad can itself be good (as art).
New Critics believe that an interpretation of a work should focus purely on its objective qualities; we should strictly disregard all external or extrinsic factors (biographical, historical, etc.) concerning the author of the work.
Leni Riefenstahl: The question of the intentional fallacy has tended to focus on controversial figures like Caravaggio, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Andreas Serrano ("Pi-- Christ" ) or artists such as myself, for I was the German filmmaker for the Third Reich, the Nazi Party and for supreme chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler, whom I immortalized in such documentaries as "Triumph of the Will," which chronicled the Nuremberg rallies, and "Olympia," a documentary on the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I am profoundly ashamed of these movies now in light of Nazi atrocities and the human-rights genocide of the Holocaust, for my so-called art was exploited as Nazi propaganda. Nevertheless, many critics to this day consider my movies to be technically and artistically brilliant.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...
I think that the answer to this question was answered sufficiently well by the decision of the Israeli national symphony to perform works by Wagner, who had been a notorious and virulent anti-semite.
Wagner’s Music isn’t as bad as it sounds. -Edgar Wilson Nye, often incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain.
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