The Use and Abuse of Art

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Princeton University Press, Jun 21, 1975 - Art - 150 pages
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"When an extremely intellectual, extremely experienced, extremely wise man shares his thoughts with others, the result seizes the imagination at once. Such is the effect of these essays, a series given as lectures at the National Gallery in 1973. Mr. Barzun examines art as religion, as destroyer, as redeemer, and in relation to what he calls "its temper, science," but never forgets the basic essential. As he says, "the last word on art should indeed be: mystery. But that need not stop any of us from dealing with it as if we understood more than we can." And how good it is to have one's mind stretched to that understanding of "more.""--Virginia Quarterly Review

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Art the Destroyer
Art the Redeemer
Art and Its Tempter Science
Art in the Vacuum of Belief

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What Good are the Arts?
John Carey
Limited preview - 2006
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About the author (1975)

Jacques Barzun was born in Créteil, France on November 30, 1907. He came to the United States in 1920 and graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 1927. Following graduation, he joined Columbia's faculty as an instructor while continuing his studies in graduate school there, receiving a master's degree in 1928 and a doctorate in French history in 1932. He became a full professor in 1945, was dean of graduate faculties from 1955 to 1958, and dean of faculties from 1958 to 1967. He retired from Columbia University in 1975. He was a historian and cultural critic. The core of his work was the importance of studying history to understand the present and a fundamental respect for intellect. Although he wrote on subjects as diverse as detective fiction and baseball, he was especially known for his many books on music, nineteenth-century romanticism and education. His works include Darwin, Marx and Wagner: Critique of a Heritage; Romanticism and the Modern Ego; The House of Intellect; Race: A Study in Superstition; Simple and Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers; A Stroll with William James; The Culture We Deserve; and From Dawn to Decadence. He died on October 25, 2012 at the age of 104.