By Stephen H. Watson
Why, and in what demeanour, did artist Paul Klee have this sort of major influence on twentieth-century thinkers? His artwork and his writing encouraged best philosophers to provide key texts in twentieth-century aesthetics, texts that inspired next artwork background and criticism.
Heidegger, Adorno, Benjamin, Merleau-Ponty, Lyotard, Sartre, Foucault, Blanchot, Derrida, and Marion are one of the philosophers who've engaged with Klee's paintings and writings. Their perspectives are usually regarded as far-off from one another, yet Watson places them in dialog. His aspect isn't to vindicate any ultimate interpretation of Klee yet to permit his interpreters' diversified bills to have interaction, to make clear their and on Klee's paintings, and, in flip, to delineate either a heritage and a theoretical troublesome of their midst. Crescent Moon over the Rational unearths an evolving theoretical constellation of interpretations and their questions (theoretical, inventive, and political) that tackle and always renew Klee's wealthy legacies.
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Extra resources for Crescent Moon over the Rational: Philosophical Interpretations of Paul Klee
It emerges less, as is standardly thought, as a matter of the analysis of problems and figures than as a different history, an operative history that emerges in and through figures as historical as Klee himself. Logically, it means we can no more rest easily with the history of ideas than we can with the factual history of painting or thinking. While we do not, for example, usually think of figures such as Adorno and Merleau-Ponty together, we discover after reading their mutual analyses of Klee that we should.
He argued specifically against Malraux’s view—invoking Klee (and Cézanne)—that “because painting is no longer for faith or Beauty, it is for the individual” (S: 51). It will involve, instead, a matter of figuring transcendence otherwise. 6 The Beautiful cannot simply be identified with pleasure, or the Good, with Truth or with Being, all “the topical preferences of philistine culture” (AT: 93). Even construed philosophically, this equation violates historically and logically the (analogical) differential of the transcendentals that it latently evokes.
But in that case there is almost nothing at all that is original. The shudder of original Kontemplation, astonishment or seeing (theoria), which still retained traditional links with the noematic, risked being reduced to noetic (and psychologistic) shudder. When Klee defended the “childishness” of his art (or the originality of children’s art or the art of the insane), it did not take the form of an apology. He confronted again the tortured agonistics out of which art emerges. He defended such childishness (and the discipline to which he subjected it) on behalf of the originality and transcendence that occurs everywhere Adorno’s and Merleau-Ponty’s Readings of Klee 29 in works of art.