Tolstoy's 'What is Art?': 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Tolstoy's 'What is Art?'

1st Edition

By Terry Diffey

Routledge

176 pages

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Description

With its demand that works of art be judged according to the their morally didactic content, Tolstoy’s reviled aesthetics has seemed to exclude from the canon far too many works widely accepted as masterpieces, including Shakespeare and Beethoven.

This book, first published in 1985, argues that these are not mere oversights on the part of Tolstoy: he knew full well the consequences of his line of reasoning. The author contends that, even if we disagree with and eventually reject much of what Tolstoy concludes, his account of the nature and purpose of art is nevertheless worth consideration.

Diffey’s argument by no means accepts all of ‘What is Art?’, but by suggesting that the work is best interpreted as a counterpoint to the amoral aestheticism prevalent in Russia at the time, he does much to restore it to a status deserving attention, particularly in today’s climate of extreme relativism.

Table of Contents

Preface. 1. Introduction 2. Art as the Expression of Feeling 3. Works of Art: Evaluation and Classification 4. Counterfeit Art 5. Art, Science and Morality 6. Tolstoy’s Polemic: A Postscript

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky

Routledge Library Editions: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky presents a rich selection of renowned and lesser-known treatments of the Russian masters – considered by some the greatest novelists of all time – from the 1920s to the ‘90s.

The set includes works of accessible biography, lucid literary criticism and insightful scholarship, ranging over a wide range of themes: Tolstoy’s aesthetic philosophy, Dostoevsky’s curiously under-studied social and political views, Feminism, Nietzsche, and much else.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
FOR021000
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / Russian
LCO014000
LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Russian & Former Soviet Union
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT004240
LITERARY CRITICISM / Russian & Former Soviet Union
PHI001000
PHILOSOPHY / Aesthetics
PHI019000
PHILOSOPHY / Political