Tuesday, December 06, 2016
In 3:AM Cornelius Fitz reviews Fredric Jameson's Raymond Chandler.
I only wish more of the book was dedicated to giving a Heideggerian reading of Chandler’s hard-boiled detective fiction. Heidegger, who describes language as “the house of being”, is an overlooked source for literary criticism, and there are serious ontological questions that continually overlap with the aesthetic.
Heidegger, however, was antipathetic towards aesthetic experience. In ‘The Age of the World-Picture’ he describes an “essential phenomenon” of modernity being “art’s moving into the purview of aesthetics.” This is problematic because the art work has become “the object of mere subjective experience”, and thus is considered to be “an expression of human life”. Heidegger was crucially aware of the commodification of artworks, wondering whether they “stand and hang in museums and exhibitions” as “the works they themselves are, or are the not rather here as objects of the art industry?” In ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’, he mentions how “works are shipped like coal from the Ruhr and logs from the Black Forest”.
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