Posted - Mar 12 2007 : 2:58:54 PM
| Milan Kundera, Aesthetics, Freedom, & Nature
Milan Kundera's newest book (that is to say, his most recently translated and published book) has finally arrived! I'm just pages into it, and I've already found so much to do with Schiller. To start:
quote:He is addressing, here, what an author (Fielding) has to say about his novels. I would consider the core of what Kundera has to say, and what Kundera has to say about what Fielding has to say, as addressing the aesthetics that Schiller is concerned with.
He tries to define [art]--that is, to determine its raison d'ętre, to outline the realm of reality it should illuminate, explore, grasp: "the provision, then, which we have here made is no other than Human Nature." The assertion only seems banal; readers at the time saw novels as amusing, edifying, entertaining stories, but nothing more; no one would have granted the novel a purpose so general, thus so exacting, so serious, as an inquiry into "human nature"; no one would have elevated it to the rank of a reflection on man as such.
Given this, I'm led to question again the thesis of On the Aesthetic Education of Man and to wonder what practical use it will have.
"Through beauty we arrive at freedom."
Might this freedom be the sort of affinity for our own nature, implied by Kundera's statement? In the case of the novel (which was seen as a somewhat pedestrian form of art, hardly "fine" as Schiller describes it), in considering the history of art, we've seen it transform into something that can be highly regarded.
I wonder: just what about fine art goes so far as to interface with the very nature of the human? I think this is largely part of Schiller's question as well.
There is certainly some divide between the political nature of the text, and its handling of "freedom," and exploration of the novel of Kundera's text, but I feel many of the questions share a similar center.
Information on Kundera and Fielding
Lightly edited to improve readability —TKT