What Is Art ?

Without knowing first what art is, we will not be able to tell what good is art. Having studied several different definitions of art, I am most satisfied with Tolstoy's definition of art from his essay "?" (pckt pg.21). According to Tolstoy, art is a form of communication, a vehicle which the artist can use to communicate his feelings and emotion; it is a "means of intercourse between man and man" (pckt pg. 23). Tolstoy's definition of art is hardly based on the beauty of the work, rather he focuses on the communicative qualities of the work namely, infectiousness, clarity and sincerity. Thus, any piece of work displaying all the three conditions in any varying degree, is considered a ...

Want to read the rest of this paper?
Join Essayworld today to view this entire essay
and over 50,000 other term papers

of communication, and good literature be it the prose of Trollope, poems of Blake, the plays of Shakespeare or even political propaganda has always had the sincerity of its creator. Throughout history, literature has been able to bring a social, or moral message to the people. And good literature has always been infectious, at times even igniting reform and revolution. Without a doubt, literature brings to the reader or audience a circumstance we are unable to experience in real life and thus raise moral or social concerns. From Swift's satirical "Gulliver's Travels" which poked fun at the social mores of his time, to the fiction of Dickens whose plea for reform did not go unheard and pushed a program for reformation into action. Yet literature with its power to move masses can also go bad, for instance, the misinterpretation of Marxist theories led to the regime of suffering and terror we know as Communism. Art, as Tolstoy has described, is infectious, sincere and clear, ...

Get instant access to over 50,000 essays.
Write better papers. Get better grades.

Already a member? Login

demonstration of the difficulty of being objective and is a "place in which the nature of morality can be seen." (book pg.200) In other words, art is where the artist sheds his individualistic veil of perception and creates a work where others can share in his objectivity. This is an act of virtue. In appreciating art, we become less selfish and can see the reality of the world presented. I agree very much that objectivity is introduced to the spectator, and I can think of no more fitting example than when Dickens removes the selfish, ignorant veil of the rich through his writings to reveal to them the existence of the poor and lower classes.
In congruence with Murdoch, Nussbaum ...

Succeed in your coursework without stepping into a library.
Get access to a growing library of notes, book reports,
and research papers in 2 minutes or less.


What Is Art ?. (2005, May 20). Retrieved February 27, 2020, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/What-Is-Art/27210
"What Is Art ?." Essayworld.com. Essayworld.com, 20 May. 2005. Web. 27 Feb. 2020. <http://www.essayworld.com/essays/What-Is-Art/27210>
"What Is Art ?." Essayworld.com. May 20, 2005. Accessed February 27, 2020. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/What-Is-Art/27210.
"What Is Art ?." Essayworld.com. May 20, 2005. Accessed February 27, 2020. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/What-Is-Art/27210.
Join today and get instant access to this and 50,000+ other essays

Added: 5/20/2005 06:03:05 PM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1465
Pages: 6

Save | Report


Save and find your favorite essays easier

What Is Art?
What Is Hinduism
What Is An Education?
What Is Literature 2
What Is Taste
What Is Zen
How Can We Tell What Is Good Or...
What is Philosophy
What is management by different...
What Is Demand
Copyright | Cancel | Contact Us

Copyright © 2020 Essayworld. All rights reserved