1st Edition

Imperfectionist Aesthetics in Art and Everyday Life

Edited By Peter Cheyne Copyright 2023
    412 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    412 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book presents interdisciplinary research on the aesthetics of perfection and imperfection. Broadening this growing field, it connects the aesthetics of imperfection with issues in areas including philosophy, music, literature, urban environment, architecture, art theory, and cultural studies.

    The contributors to this volume argue that imperfection has value in being open and inclusive. The aesthetics of imperfection is typified by organic, unpolished production and the avoidance of perfect finish, instead representing living and natural change, and opposing the consumerist concern with the flawless and pristine. The chapters are divided into seven thematic sections. After the first section, on imperfection across the arts and culture, the next three parts are on imperfection in the arts of music, visual and theatrical arts, and literature. The second half of this book then moves to categories in everyday life and branches this further into body, self, and the person, and urban environments. Together, the chapters promote a positive ethos of imperfection that furthers individual and social engagement and supports creativity over mere passivity.

    Imperfectionist Aesthetics in Art and Everyday Life will appeal to a broad range of scholars and advanced students working in philosophical aesthetics, literature, music, urban environment, architecture, art theory, and cultural studies.

    1. Imperfectionist Aesthetics, Broadening the Field and Clarifying the Definition

    Peter Cheyne

    I. Imperfection Across the Arts and Culture

    2. Imperfectionist Aesthetics and the Inclusionist Ethos

    Peter Cheyne

    3. Imperfection and the Unfinished Work

    Andy Hamilton

    4. Art Proper, Perfectionism, and the Sacred Arts

    Gordon Graham

    II. Music

    5. Revisiting the Aesthetics of Imperfection after Thirty-Five Years

    Ted Gioia

    6. Close Enough for Jazz: Imperfection and Jazz Improvisation

    David Wild

    7. A Social Aesthetics and Ethics of Imperfection: Insights from Karnatak Music, Jazz and Free Improvisation

    Lara Pearson

    III. Visual and Theatrical Arts

    8. The Necessity of Imperfection: Philip Guston in the 1950s

    Karen Lang

    9. Thai Theatre and the Interplay of Perfection and Imperfection

    Sirithorn Siriwan and Sarawanee Sukhumvada

    10. Wabi-Sabi Aesthetic and Joseph Beuys’ Badewanne (1960)

    Eda Keskin

    IV. Literature

    11. The Aesthetics of Weeds: A Case in Junzaburō Nishiwaki

    Kaz Oishi and Yasuo Kobayashi

    12. The Poetics of Ruins: Matsuo Basho and Nathaniel Hawthorne, A Comparative Study

    Gregory Dunne

    13. The Aesthetics of Perfection and Imperfection in Iris Murdoch’s An Accidental Man

    Fiona Tomkinson

    14. The Triumph of Imperfection: Yeats’s ‘Among School Children’

    Joseph S. O’Leary

    V. Everyday Life

    15. The Role of Imperfection in Consumer Aesthetics

    Yuriko Saito

    16. Imperfection and the Politics of Realism

    Thomas Docherty

    17. Everyday Encounters with Aesthetic Imperfection and Perfection

    James Kirwan

    18. Aesthetic Imperfection and Ethical Edification

    Lucas Scripter

    19. Collecting What? Collecting as an Everyday Aesthetic Act

    Laura Di Summa

    VI. Body, Self, and the Person

    20. Bodies, Functions, and Imperfections

    Sherri Irvin

    21. Imperfection as a Vehicle for Fat Visibility in Popular Media

    Cheryl Frazier

    22. Imperfection and Beauty of Character

    Glenn Parsons

    23. The Self, Perfectionism, and the Value of Imperfection

    Christopher Hamilton

    VII. Urban Environments

    24. Street Art, Graffiti, and Tags: The Value of Imperfection in Urban Aesthetics

    Andrea Baldini

    25. The Aesthetics of Imperfection and Architectural Design for Memorial Sites: Four Documentation Centres on National Socialism in Germany

    Rumiko Handa

    26. Urban Experience as Aesthetic Compromise

    Sanna Lehtinen

    27. Grit and Urban (Im)Perfection

    Renee Conroy.



    Peter Cheyne is Associate Professor in British Literature and Culture, Shimane University, Japan, and Visiting Fellow in the Department of Philosophy, University of Durham, UK. He is the author of Coleridge’s Contemplative Philosophy (2020). Additionally, he is the editor of Coleridge and Contemplation (2017) and co-editor, with Andy Hamilton and Max Paddison, of The Philosophy of Rhythm: Aesthetics, Music, Poetics (2020).