Surface and depth : dialectics of criticism and culture /

Main Author: Shusterman, Richard.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2002.
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Review by Choice Review

Those familiar with Shusterman's work will find here the critical insight, careful argument, and clever prose they expect. Those who have not before had the pleasure of reading him will find there is no one better at distilling and analyzing contemporary aesthetics: the chapters on Croce, Wittgenstein, Alain Locke, T.S. Eliot, and Bourdieu are exempla of analytic sensitivity combined with the principle of charity. Shusterman (Temple Univ. and College International de Philosophie) puts into relief how the immediate experience of a work is related to the concrete cultural situation in which it is inspired, created, interpreted, and criticized. Experiential intensity and social frame are interdependent, a point he illustrates by his metaphor of stage and scene in seeing art as dramatization. The social frame makes possible the "feeling of lived intensity and heightened reality" that people so value in their immediate experience. As part of this social frame, aesthetics aims to enhance our experience and understanding of art. This is one work in aesthetics that accomplishes its aim. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above. J. B. Waugh University of South Florida

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.