Projective Properties and Expression in Literary Appreciation

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (2):143-153 (2010)
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Abstract

The paper defends Wollheim’s account of aesthetic expressive perception by showing that it may fruitfully be extended to artistic genres other than painting. The paper hopes to show the richness of Wollheim’s theory of expressive projection as an account of aesthetic perception. In investigating the application of Wollheim’s account of artistic expression to literature, I shall illustrate how understanding expression as the result of the projective activity of the writer is a useful way of understanding some of the expressive properties of two poems by Wordsworth. I shall also attempt to show how Wordsworth’s poems require and facilitate the activity of projection by the reader, so as to allow for the appreciation of the work’s expressive properties. In exploring the application of Wollheim’s account of expression-as-projection to poetry, this paper will also attempt to defend Wollheim’s account against some objections raised by Malcolm Budd.

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Elisa Galgut
University of Cape Town

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