On Trust: Art and the Temptations of Suspicion
In this book, the author explores the question that has troubled artists and philosophers (though not critics) since the time of the Romantics - is it possible to create art today with the freedom of earlier ages and yet produce works that are more than merely decorative or commercial? Such a question, argues Gabriel Josipovici, is not timeless; it has a history, and a relatively short one at that. Why is it only with the Romantics that suspicion, not just of motive but of the very tools of art, language, and form, has become so insistent? Why could Shakespeare depict suspicion with such power and insight in the figures of Hamlet and Iago, yet himself work with such apparent ease within the conventions of his time? To understand Romantic suspicion, the author argues, we need to understand what it supplanted and why.
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