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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Literature and Philosophy class notes: 24th sept. 2011

Terry Eagleton’s ‘What is Literature?’ provides us with various definitions of literature which have been made. Eagleton considers the different ways in which literature has been defined previously and describes them in detail, after which he demonstrates where and how these definition are lacking. The essay ends with Eagleton providing his own definition of literature, which after reflecting on what has been stated before, appears all encompassing.

After a critical reading of the essay in class, it is concluded that the essay is a critique of the historical definitions of literature by Eagleton who refutes all previous definitions before introducing his own.

The second essay dealt with was by Peter Burger’s ‘On the Problem of the Autonomy of Art in Bourgeois Society’. Burger defines the autonomy of art and explains how art and the artist is affected by social changes- from the early 16th century to the 18th century where art is redefined by Kant and Schiller. Burger describes the autonomy of art as a category of bourgeois society which is detached from the context of practical life. The status of art in bourgeois society is attacked by the Avant-Garde who did not like that art as an institution was disassociated with the praxis of life and believed that it must be integrated into the praxis of life.

The discussion of the essay centered on- the Avant-Garde trying to abolish the autonomy of art; that they wanted the pleasure of everyday life to be integrated; and that art was not about the object but about the social function.

In the course fo  discussion, three key aspects of research were described: the concepts, the framework and how one must write research.

Prepared by Naomi Eapen.

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