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Structures of AppearingAllegory and the Work of Literature$
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Brenda Machosky

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242849

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242849.001.0001

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Face Off: The Allegorical Image and Aesthetics

Face Off: The Allegorical Image and Aesthetics

(p.28) 1. Face Off: The Allegorical Image and Aesthetics
Structures of Appearing

Brenda Machosky

Fordham University Press

This chapter challenges Plato's exile of the poets and the defensive posture this typically provokes in literary scholars. A close reading of Plato, especially Republic and Ion, reveals that in the image of the philosopher the poet appears. Not synonymous with the figure, the image sustains a conflicting simultaneity, two things in the same space at the same time, a logical contradiction with which philosophy cannot contend yet needs, and that allegory enables and supports. The introductory section analyses the difference of the image as resemblance rather than representation with reference to Plato's khora, Aristotle's phantasma, Heidegger's Gestalt, and Lévinas’ face. The section, “Art and Aesthetics” contests Hegel's judgment against art by proposing a nonaesthetic approach to art and by criticizing the philosophical sleight of hand by which Hegel promotes the Science of Art as Aesthetics. A final section, “The Work of Art,” presents a phenomenology of art, investigating what art is as a thing (a work) and as a task (a working out). Contrary to Hegel's views that art is something no longer essential and allegory is something cold, this chapter concludes that allegory itself is a work of art and can give us art unmediated by philosophy.

Keywords:   aesthetics, allegory, Hegel, image, philosopher as poet, Plato, work of art

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