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3                      Personality can become an aesthetic object.  It

                 can be related to aesthetically.  (These mean the same



3.1                  We call the personality of the artist, when viewed

                 aesthetically, "sensibility".


3.11                 Personality and sensibility are not the same



3.111              There is a fact/value distinction in Aesthetics.

                 (Perhaps it is even called a fact/value distinction.)


3.112              How can such a sharp distinction exist in nature?

                 It does not exist in nature.  It is stipulated by us.


3.1121            There are places where gardens are art.  (Not

                 among us, of course.)


3.1122            Venetian Noblemen masturbated, viewing the very

                 same paintings that  Schopenhauer, some centuries later,

                 would claim the contemplation of which extinguishes

                 sexual desire.  These noblemen regarded the paintings

                 aesthetically, just as Schopenhauer did.  They were not

                 confused about what they were looking at.


3.11221          (They didn't think they were looking in windows.)


3.11222          To say that Schopenhauer was right and the

                 noblemen wrong, or vice versa, is to suggest there is

                 some fact of nature that will tell us when a

                 psychological response to something is an aesthetic

                 response and when it's not.


3.1123            There are no psychological dispositions that come

                 marked in nature as aesthetic responses, no

                 psychological responses (even pleasurable ones at the
                 sight of sunsets or birds) that automatically are

                 aesthetic ones; there is no aesthetic faculty -- in the

                 visual cortex, say -- no aesthetic module in the mind.

                 (Or in the brain.)


3.11231         An aesthetic reaction to something is surely a

                 reaction of pleasure, we'd say.  Of course.  But not

                 just any pleasurable sensation is aesthetic -- tickles,

                 for example, are not aesthetic (so we say).


3.11232         And, we also say, some things that do not give us

                 ordinary pleasure nevertheless give us aesthetic



3.112321        But this is a mistake.  We see two people yelling

                 at each other on stage, and we think, "If this were

                 happening for real I would be repulsed."  But we cannot

                 imagine what we think we can imagine: To take away the

                 audience and the stage is to change the experience.  To

                 leave the audience and the stage, but change the

                 assumption that what is happening is staged, is still

                 to change the experience.  And, of course, if it were

                 happening for real, and I did not know it, I would not

                 be repulsed.


3.1124            We stipulate which pleasures are aesthetic and

                 which are not.  And the proof is that different

                 cultures stipulate these things differently.


3.1125            All sorts of (causal) factors influence where we

                 stipulate the border between aesthetic pleasure and

                 mere pleasure.  Call the study of this the sociology of

                 art.  It looks striking that we are so labile in what

                 we treat as aesthetic only if we forget that the border

                 is stipulated.


3.11251          It is a hard question to answer to what extent

                 what gives us pleasure is biologically fixed and to

                 what extent it is not.


3.11252         (But this is not a question in Aesthetics.)


3.113             A fictional narrator can speak in the first person,
                 and her sentences can show things which are not

                 true of the author.  But this is not the source of the

                 fact/value distinction in Aesthetics.  For even if the

                 fictional narrator says everything that the author

                 believes to be true, and if her sentences all show

                 things which are true of the author, there is still the

                 distinction between the personality of the author and

                 the sensibility of the fictional narrator.


3.114             We say that the sensibility of the fictional

                 narrator is depicted by the work of art (if it is) or

                 shown by the work of art.  (Or both.)


3.115             We never say that the personality of the author is

                 depicted or shown by the work of art (unless we are

                 confused).  We say that the personality of the author

                 is the cause of the work of art.


3.116             We can aesthetically condemn the sensibility

                 depicted or shown in a work of art.  We can't morally

                 condemn that sensibility.  (But if we are confused, we

                 can try to.)


3.1161           (When we are confused, we sometimes try to do

                 something impossible.  We succeed in doing something

                 else, which is what always happens when we try to do

                 something impossible.)


3.1162           (We seem to morally condemn characters in fiction:

                 "Raskolnikov is a bad man," we might say. And we might

                 even say this in an angry tone of voice.  But this is

                 like saying "Raskolnikov has a sister," or "Pegasus has

                 wings."  We often say such things (and so it is alright

                 to say them), but we should be clear about what we're

                 doing (and saying); what we must be doing (and



3.117              We can morally condemn an author.  (We may, for

                 example, aesthetically condemn the sensibility depicted

                 in a work of art, and morally condemn the author for

                 creating that sensibility.)


3.118             Dostoyevsky is a racist.  His German or Polish

                 characters are always presented quite negatively.  Are

                 there aesthetic flaws in his work as a result?

                 Secondary characters in novels can be one-dimensional

                 -- good or bad -- or just minor.  (This is allowed

                 aesthetically.)  Dostoyevsky's Polish and German

                 characters are always minor ones.


3.12               No work of art is autobiographical.


3.2                Poetry is the most idiosyncratic of written



3.21               One aim of good prose is to show sensibility

                 despite the apparent uniformity of what prose shows.


3.22               In poetry we are expected to show new

                 sensibilities honestly.


3.221              This is a directive to poetry: this is a point

                 about how poetry and prose are institutionally divided

                 today; we can feel this difference between them because

                 of what we are allowed to do.


3.2211            (There are always exceptions.  And some of the

                 greatest work is exceptional.)


3.23              It is always easier to like new prose than it is

                 to like new poetry.


3.231            You have to get used to new poetry.  You have to

                 get used to new people.


3.2311           (Unless, of course, they're just like people

                 you've met before.  Or: they speak -- pretty much --

                 like people you've met before.  Or: you avoid being

                 intimate with them.)


3.232          Once upon a time, poetry was popular.


3.2321           Once upon a time, poetry had a different role.  It

                 did not show sensibility.  (That was not its job.)


3.2322           It is hard (nowadays) for poetry to be popular.

                 It is hard for people to be popular and intimate with

                 the people they are popular among.


3.23221        (This is not a remark about lack of time.)


3.23222        The work of any poet is an acquired taste.


3.23223        (Except in cases of love at first sight.)


3.233            Originality in poetry today is only a matter of

                 creating a new sensibility.


3.2331           (New to the canon, of course.)


3.2332           There are no schools in poetry.  ("School," in the

                 sense of "school of fish".)


3.23321        Poetry does not "celebrate one's ethnicity".  Or

                 one's "gender".


3.233211        (I could have written: "Poetry should not

                 'celebrate one's ethnicity'," for, just as with logic,

                 merely stipulative constraints are often transformed

                 into the normative language of law and proscription.)


3.2333           Formalist experiments in poetry have a way of

                 looking alike (the variations introduced don't coalesce

                 into patterns, or if they do, they seem to be the same

                 patterns other formalists invent.)


3.23331         (We sometimes suspect all formalist poetry has

                 been written by the same person, even if the tricks are



3.23332          (They all show the same sensibility.)


3.2334           Confessional poetry fails when it doesn't show a

                 new sensibility.


3.23341         (New to the canon, of course.)


3.23342        Syvia Plath didn't have a new sort of personality:
                 narcissistic rage, hysteria, melodrama, delusions:

                 we've seen all this before.


3.233421       (Sylvia Plath couldn't write short stories.)


3.23343         Sylvia Plath invented a new sensibility: We hadn't

                 seen that "voice" before.  Not in poetry.  (Where it



3.2335           Lyric poetry is not autobiography.


3.23351         Lyric poetry imitates autobiography.


3.233511       "Imitate," is a good word.  It puts a gap between

                 the thing being imitated and the thing doing the

                 the imitating.


3.233512       Nevertheless, we often confuse the thing imitated

                 and the thing imitating.


3.2335121      (Perhaps it is no coincidence that the poet -- in

                 English -- we know least about is one we think is the



3.23352        Poetry does not settle scores.


3.233521       Have poets taken revenge on relatives and friends

                 through their poems?  Of course.


3.2335211      (People stab each other with screwdrivers too.

                 And yet, no instruction manual on screwdrivers

                 describes the best way to do this.)


3.2335212      Have mathematicians taken revenge on others by

                 proving new theorems?  Perhaps.  Perhaps some have

                 thought they were doing this.


3.2335213      (The psychological process of transference is



3.233522       The desire for revenge (in an author) may cause a

                 poem to have certain qualities.


3.233523       We can condemn an author (morally) for creating a

                 poem with certain qualities.


3.233524       We cannot condemn the poem (aesthetically) because

                 certain causes gave rise to certain qualities in it.


3.2335241      (God may visit punishment of the father's sins

                 unto his children: We are more logical than that.)


3.233525        We can only evaluate a poem's qualities



3.23353          Poetry is only designed to provide aesthetic



3.233531        This may make us think: If that is true, only gods

                 could write poetry.


3.233532        But we have created an unreal problem.


3.2335321      Pleasure is an end in itself.


3.23353211    Sexual pleasure is an end in itself.


3.2335322      Perversity is the introduction of goals other than

                 pleasure into the process of enjoying a pleasure.


3.23353221    (De Sade was a pervert.)


3.2335323     Those who have sex for the purpose of procreation

                 are perverted.


3.23353231    (This doesn't mean, of course, that someone who

                 wants children is perverted.)


3.2335324     (Evolution's "purposes" cannot be our purposes.)


3.2335325     Suppose someone says: "But there would be no sex

                 if procreation were unnecessary."  (Amoebas don't have



3.2335326     To talk about purposes in the case of evolution is

                 really only to talk about causes.


3.2335327     And if A is the cause of why B gives me pleasure,

                 it never follows that A is the reason why I pursue B.

                 (Pleasure is always an end in itself.)


3.23353271    (Unless I'm perverse.)


3.2335328      Perversity (in poetry) is mediocrity.


3.2335329      The goal of a poet is to create poetry she enjoys.


3.23354          One's political views are part of one's biography.


3.233541         A poem does not express an author's political



3.233542        (An author's political views can cause a poem to

                 have certain qualities.)


3.233543        A poem can imitate a political tract, of course.

                 (Or a philosophical tract.)


3.233544        Only a confused author would try to change the

                 world by writing poetry.


3.2335441      (Unless, of course, he was only pretending to

                 write poems, and was really trying to do something



3.2335442      (In this case he would not be confused, although

                 he would still be incompetent.  And not necessarily as

                 a poet.)


3.2336            Some playwrights have created new sensibilities.

                 Shaw, for example.  We should not confuse the

                 sensibility shown by a writer with the fictional

                 personae depicted (or shown).


3.2337            Can an artist create more than one sensibility?

                 Is this what a dramatic poet does?


3.23371        Perhaps we do not allow artists to do this.


3.23372          (Unless the artist adopts a pseudonym we never



3.22373          This, too, is a matter of stipulation.


3.23374          Characters in plays show their "personalities" by

                 what they do when they say things.  Dramatic poets also

                 have characters that show their "personalities".


3.233741        For a character to show his personality is not the

                 same as for the poet to show his sensibility.  Even if

                 both of them do it by means of exactly the same words.

                 (At the same time.)


3.2337411      No narrator is only her words.


3.23374111    (This is why two types of narrators, using exactly

                 the same words, can nevertheless show different things—

                 have different properties that they show.)


3.23374112    (This is why nested narrators don't create

                 philosophical problems the way a statue and the clay it

                 is composed of does.)


3.2337412      Everything can be imitated.


3.23374121     This is a licence we extend to art.

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