The Artist and Political Vision

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Benjamin R. Barber, Michael J. Gargas McGrath
Transaction Publishers - 397 pages
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Art and politics are often regarded as denizens of different realms, but few artists have been comfortable with the notion of a purely aesthetic definition of art. The artist has a public and thus political vision of the world interpreted by his art no less than the statesman and the legislator have a creative vision of the world they wish to make.

The sixteen original essays in this volume bear eloquent witness to this interpenetration of art and politics. Each confronts the intersection of the aesthetic and the social, each is concerned with the interface of poetic vision and political vision, of reflection and action. They take art in the broadest sense, ranging over poets, dramatists, novelists, essayists, and filmmakers. Their focus is on art and its political dilemmas, not simply on the artist. They consider the issues raised for politics and culture by alienation, violence, modernization, technology, democracy, progress, and revolution. And they debate the capacity of art to stimulate social change and incite revolution, the temptations of social control of culture and of political censorship, the uncertain relationship between art and history, the impact of economic structure on artistic creation and of economic class on artistic product, the common ground between art and legislation and between crea-tivitv and control.
 

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Discuss the circumstances that led Orwell to shoot the elephant

Contents

Political Virtue and
1
The Absurdity of Politics
87
The Political Imagination
117
Passion and Politics
145
Poetic Understanding and Comic Action
165
Elizabethan Statecraft and Machiavellianism
193
Political Development and the Aesthetic
221
Natty Bumppo and the Godfather
233
Billy Budd and the Context of Political Rule
245
Technology Social Change
267
Violence and the Novel
291
Politics and Film
317
Ethics and Politics in the PreNineteen Eighty
335
The Critique of Liberal Democracy
363
Contributors
385
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