Below are my notes on Hegel's "Lectures on Fine Arts"
- Beauty of art vs. beauty of nature. Beauty of art is
higher. For example, a reflection of the clouds in a puddle is more beautiful than clouds themselves.
- Interest in beauty "softens the heart" to the
point of becoming feminine.
- Art, like sports (e.g. yachting), like any discipline,
is another road to everything, i.e. the totality of knowledge.
- A sailor like Yuri is a kind of chaser after the beautiful in his "Sunset"
- "Beauty, powerless and helpless, hates
understanding which demands from it that which it can not give" - Hegel, "Phenomenology"
- "its (i.e. art's) true task is to bring the
highest interests of spirit to our minds"
- Hirt, 1797: "lays it down that the beautiful is
‘the perfect which is or can be an object of eye, ear, or imagination’. He then further defines the perfect as ‘what corresponds with its aim, what nature or art intended to produce in the formation of the object within its genus and species’". In other words, beauty is expediency.
- Goethe says: ‘The supreme principle of antiquity was
the significant, but the supreme result of a successful treatment was the beautiful'
- "the spirit and the soul shine through the human
eye, through a man’s face, flesh, skin, through his whole figure [Gestalt], and here the meaning is always something wider than what shows itself in the immediate appearance. It is in this way that the work of art is to be significant". We can see more than just the figure. We see the whole history of a person's development, life history, growth, through that person's, or animal's, etc. appearance.
- Methodology of a new science:
- establish the "Concept" of the subject,
- then establish divisions of the subject matter, which
are contained in the concept of it. (This proves that I am right to start my "nature of transitional states" with 1) methodology, 2) discussion of other theories on the subject (a logical discussion, and at the same time Aristotelean manner of starting a subject), after which I pass on to 3) brief historical development of the subject (USSR, other transitional states), after which I discuss the 4) the main concept (nomenclature-capitalist collusion, in its development and "knowledge tree", i.e. ramifications. 5) Then, I must briefly scetch the opposite of "transitional states", i.e. capitalist states (essentially, the same process of knowing as for transitional states), and 6) establish main points of interaction between these two entities. 7) Only then I can discuss "new revolutionary-knowing subject", which inevitably must involve different political forces and parties.)
- "the higher the standing of the artist, the more
profoundly should he display the depths of the heart and the spirit" = this I feel in my teaching of English. Now I can direct my class better than before, e.g. on such subjects as "beauty". But I still have not mastered "the politics".
- "art seems to proceed from a higher impulse and to
satisfy higher needs, — at times the highest and absolute needs since it is bound up with the most universal views of life and the religious interests of whole epochs and peoples" - for example, art can satisfy the need for tenderness when we don't meet with it in everyday life.
- In art, man "places himself before himself",
reflects on what he places before himself, and on the strength of this reflection he is a "spirit", i.e. strong, pressing forward into the future.
- "Taste" is an educated sense of beauty
- I have noticed that "expert's"
interpretation, or introduction to a work of art (e.g. to an opera or a ballet) is often so full of trivial details that it is worse than no acquiantance at all. Why so? Why is it that the more they study a field of art, the more stupid they become?
- "the work of art stands in the middle between
immediate sensuousness and ideal thought". This is precisely the place of beauty. It is the intermediate stage between the present and the distant ideal. Hence, it is kind of lighthouse, a compass, a GPS.
- One aim of art is imitation of nature, e.g. imitation
of a natural DNA. However, "by mere imitation, art cannot stand in competition with nature, and, if it tries, it looks like a worm trying to crawl after an elephant". I suppose this is the origin of the abstract art.
- Concept of beauty varies among nations and cultures,
e.g. a music from India may not be pleasing to a European. But it is also true that some concepts of beauty are preserved over long periods of time, e.g. the beauty of ancient Greek statues and way of expression in general.
- In "art there lies the capacity to cancel rudeness
and to bridle and educate impulses, inclinations, and passions", "the purification of the passions, instruction, and moral improvement", Hence, moral improvement and instruction may be another aim of art.
- Hegel on the principal goal of art: "art’s vocation is to unveil the truth in the
form of sensuous artistic configuration, to set forth the reconciled opposition just mentioned (between universal law and concrete expression), and so to have its end and aim in itself, in this very setting forth and unveiling. For other ends, like instruction, purification, bettering, financial gain, struggling for fame and honour, have nothing to do with the work of art as such, and do not determine its nature"
(to be continued)