I want to turn my back on philosophy now, for reasons of “diversity”, and see if there’s much material on Hegel on the arts
In the classical history of philosophy, say, up to the beginning of the twentieth century—to the point at which cinema first appears—there are only five “big books” explicitly devoted to a systematic study of the arts
Crazy, if this writer is accurate, which I think he is because the first big book, Aristotle’s Poetics was written a whopping 2100 years before the next big book, that Kant one I was talking about on Judgement. Aren’t you just dying to know now what the other two (not counting Hegel’s) are that he designates? I mean, we’re talking about some of the greatest creations of humanity so it seems like you would want to know what the chief galaxybrains thought of them? Let’s just say they’re a couple more Germans. That’s all gone now, going beyond the Greeks, that’s a thing of the past, I won’t even tell you who these two are because we live in a time where people are too lazy to focus on that kind of thing anyway. “How is he speaking directly to ME?”
Hmm… Hegel says the pinnacle of pictorial art is Dutch painting, I’ll have to remember that for later. He says it shows an understanding of human nature, while the paintings of his time do not. I repeat that he relates the rest of the arts to poetry which he sees as the standard- he says there’s a poetic tonality to Dutch paintings.
We can see here Badiou’s Hegelianism
[actors] bring to light through their living presence all the secret intentions and masterful inventions that the poet has buried beneath the surface of the written text
Acting is the most essential art for Hegel. It’s poetry made real. Or at least, when we immerse in the drama it’s real.
We haven’t had movies forever you know. Not many years ago the arts were all much more fragmented. Maybe Badiou’s a bit of an old-timer to put theatre where he does.
And a related thought- in video games, which old-timers know nothing about, YOU are the “actor” in a sense.
Think of the soundtrack from some Tony Hawk game. That’s a gesamtkunstwerk. Then something like Grand Theft Auto is closer to a “drama”. There are some pretty poetic moments in those dramas, that you experience as the protagonist as well as the spectator. A real theory of video games has never been tried. Throw those five big books on aesthetics into it and see what you get.
I saw this trailer recently, pretty crazy
Hegel cannot help us here! In the same way he thought history had ended, he thought art had ended as well. He didn’t anticipate film, let alone video games. I always bring up new genres and futurism as a way to say “Don’t be like Hegel.”
We can still learn so much from him though. He actually agrees with my intuition from yesterday that laughter is the most human of these two dramatic modes
So, the actor that makes us laugh- that’s the peak of art for him.
And looking at the history of stand-up, that genre didn’t even emerge until the decade after Hegel’s death! I knew I was on to something with my starvation to see someone who’s hilarious.
Poor Hegel who spoke of something called “absolute laughter” had to deal with Aristophanes and Molière? They’re not even that funny next to… man, I can’t even immediately think of someone I still find funny these days, though when I was younger they gave me an “absolute laughter”. Literally living in a time when the finest art is not allowed. “You haven’t deduced what that is!” You know it in your heart to be true. If I had the choice to see anything at this exact moment it would be for someone to demolish the establishment in a way that made me laugh hysterically. That is missing from the modern world. And they go out of their way to make it so.