Forms of Enlightenment in Art

Open Angle Books, 2010
ISBN 978-0-956762306
Available from the author:  (£5.00)
Cover illustration by Alice Gillham

In opposition to the ideas of mimesis that we find in Aristotle's Poetics and Plato's Republic, I present a new conception of art as a form of knowledge. In this respect I see art as the portrayal of reflective life in action. This theory is demonstrated in connection with the work of Sophocles, Shakespeare, Bach, Beethoven, Turner and Cézanne. Interpretations of twenty-seven works of art explore the meaning and significance of each complete work as a representation of life. Reflective life is defined as a life that is valued in itself, and the analysis of art in this book shows how the portrayal of reflective life in action reveals the interconnection between inner experience, the form of reflective life and the life-defining forms of a community.

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