The Paradoxes of Art: A Phenomenological Investigation

In this study, Alan Paskow first asks why fictional characters, such as Hamlet and Anna Karenina, matter to us and how they are able to emotionally affect us. He then applies these questions to painting, demonstrating that paintings beckon us to view their contents as real. What we visualise in paintings, he argues, is not simply in our heads but in our world. Paskow also situates the phenomenological approach to the experience of painting in relation to methodological assumptions and claims in analytic aesthetics as well as in contemporary schools of thought, particularly Marxist, feminist, and deconstructionist.

• Provides solution for ‘paradox of fiction’ answering questions about why we are affected by fictional beings and situations • Shows why paintings invite viewers to view contents as real • Situates phenomenological approach to experience of painting in relation to contemporary schools of artistic theory


Introduction; 1. The reality of fictional beings; 2. Things in our world; 3. Why and how others matter; 4. Why and how painting matters; 5. For and against interpretation.

Nøkkelord: Teori Kunst Kunstteori Litteraturvitenskap

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