By Janet Wolff
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Extra info for Aesthetics and the Sociology of Art
8). Against the 'prejudices of historical objectivism', he proposes an aesthetics of reception and impact (p. 9). Since literary works appear differently to consecutive readers, their evaluation is reproduced at each reading. A literary work is not an object which stands by itself and which offers the same face to each reader in each period. It is not a monument which reveals its timeless essence in a monologue. , p. 10). He points out, obviously rightly, that any work continues to have an effect only if future generations still respond to it or rediscover it.
As Jeremy Hawthorn has pointed out, 'No satisfactory way of drawing the distinction between aesthetic and non-aesthetic value has ever been found' (1973, p. 63). In the next chapter I shall consider the issue of the relationship between political and aesthetic value, in order to try to ascertain whether it is possible to identify such a distinction. 3 Political and Aesthetic Value Quite apart from the reaction to the sociological critique of art, the notion of aesthetic value has been undergoing something of a crisis recently.
Certainly, it becomes difficult to see what kind of experience of art Becker can be identifying, if it is intended to be one which totally transcends the social and existential reality of the experiencer. As Jeremy Hawthorn has pointed out, 'No satisfactory way of drawing the distinction between aesthetic and non-aesthetic value has ever been found' (1973, p. 63). In the next chapter I shall consider the issue of the relationship between political and aesthetic value, in order to try to ascertain whether it is possible to identify such a distinction.