more from Richard Wollheim

Single Idea 20337

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 6. Art as Institution]

Full Idea

From Aristotle onwards it has been a tenet of the traditional rhetoric that the proper understanding of a literary work involves the location of it in the correct genre, that is, as drama, epic or lyric.

Gist of Idea

The traditional view is that knowledge of its genre to essential to appreciating literature


Richard Wollheim (Art and Its Objects [1968], 32)

Book Reference

Wollheim,Richard: 'Art and Its Objects' [Penguin 1975], p.82

A Reaction

Walton argues this persuasively. I've seen the climax of a Jacobean tragedy ruined by laughter from the audience. Genre dictates appropriate responses, so it is a communal concept.