Hans Robert Jauss's Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics PDF
By Hans Robert Jauss
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Second: the social function of art on its earlier, preautonomous, and historical levels cannot be adequately understood by the pair of categories, negation and affirmation. This becomes clear in Adorno himself when he constantly reproaches affirmative works of art for the ignominy of subservience, the transfiguration of what exists, or false reconciliation, 8 and then attempts to save them again through the backdoor of negativity, as in the following passage: "All works of art, even the affirmative ones, are a priori polemical.
28 But it is not only owing to its freshness and plenitude of meaning that the child's perception becomes the ideal yardstick of aesthetic experience. What the child sees freshly because for the first time also permits the adult to rediscover what already lies within him as past experience and can be recalled; the poet whose conscious aesthetic activity can undo the alienation of reality and re-create the world in its original newness returns to our consciousness a forgotten or suppressed reality.
The episode in Flaubert's novel that turns the bloody seriousness of history into mere spectacle for the "flaneur" is part of a historically significant context. In Frederic's aesthetic stance and in the political acts of his friends, Flaubert's cryptic irony points up a second-hand experience of history: just as the aesthete copies a passe romanticism, the revolutionaries imitate the larger-than-life-size 1789 model. The literary interpretation of the failure of 1848 thus shows a curious congruence with Karl Marx's analysis in the Eighteenth Bruniaire of Louis Napoleon*.
Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics by Hans Robert Jauss