The Future of Art

An Aesthetics of the New and the Sublime

By Marcella Tarozzi Goldsmith

Subjects: Art
Series: SUNY series in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
Paperback : 9780791443163, 220 pages, September 1999
Hardcover : 9780791443156, 220 pages, September 1999

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Table of contents



Part One
The Historical Side of Aesthetics

Chapter 1
The Birth of Aesthetics

Art on the Offensive; The Role of Imagination; Self-transcendence; Desire's Ignorance; Faust, Never Lost in Desire; Desiring the Will; The Despairing Will

Chapter 2
Art as the Organon of Philosophy

Real/Ideal; Salvific Intuition; Myths versus Mysticism; After Schelling; Prosaic Myths; Art's Futurity; The Necessity of Art

Chapter 3
Philosophy as the Organon of Art

Sic Transit; Hegel's Triptychs; Beauty Surpassed; The Ultimate Rationality; Myths and the Symbol; The Symbolic Sublime; The Circle; Conclusion

Part Two
Art's New Truth

Chapter 4
Apprehending the New

The Subject Transformed; The Hidden Truth; Philosophic Art and Aesthetics; The Emerging Meaning; The Function of Art; Neutrality; Art as the Organon ofArt

Chapter 5
From Artifice to the Will

Art Uprooted from Truth; Nietzsche's Appearance; Expected Tragedies; Rhetoric First; Being and Art: The Axis Nietzsche-Heidegger; Art: The Truth of the Nonexistent; The Sublimity of Nihilism

Chapter 6
The Nothingness of Art

The Repercussions of Nihilism; Utopia and Nihilism: The Two Faces of the Aesthetic; Renouncing the Beautiful; Unprecedented Form; Metaphor; Sublime Allegory; The Aesthetics of Negativity; Conclusion

Part Three
Subjective Aesthetics

Chapter 7
The Role of Subjectivity

Art: Imagining the True; New Sensations; Hermeneutics; The Unconscious Subject; The Ineffable; Tragedy and Comedy; Sublime Sublimity; Conclusion




Draws upon a wide range of aesthetic theories and artworks in order to challenge the view that art is valueless or purely subjective.


By analyzing the three loci of aesthetics—the subjective, the objective, and the absolute—the author concludes that only the sublime demonstrates that art is neither subjective nor objective. The one essential component of art is the new, the sole "instrument" that can guarantee art's vitality even when confronted by the nihilistic tendencies of modernity.

Marcella Tarozzi Goldsmith, an independent scholar, is the author of Nonrepresentational Forms of the Comic: Humor, Irony, and Jokes.


"The originality of this work, its broad scope, and the author's familiarity with the work of contemporary European and American aestheticians and philosophers make this work a valuable asset to those interested in aesthetics." — symplokeu

"I like the introduction of the idea of the sublime as a crucial factor in art, which then allows the author to criticize Nietzsche's nihilism. The book has the courage to object to several 'politically correct' views of art: art as purely subjective, art as style, art as valueless and thus part of the nihilist movement." — Wilfried Ver Eecke, Georgetown University

"The author knowledgeably discusses an extremely wide range both of aesthetic theories spanning continental and 'analytic' traditions and of art works from antiquity to the most recent postmodern experiments. She addresses many of the most important issues in aesthetic theory and she writes with consummate style. Although the literature in aesthetics is vast, Goldsmith's book manages to address a wider array of aesthetic theory than other contemporary accounts." — Richard Dien Winfield, author of Stylistics: Rethinking the Artforms After Hegel