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Gadamer, Hans-Georg (Author); Bernasconi, Robert (Editor) & Nicolas Walker (Translator). THE RELEVANCE OF THE BEAUTIFUL AND OTHER ESSAYS. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 191 pages. Fine.

Retrospective collection of essays. One of the greatest books of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the Softcover Edition. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original by a University Press. The First Edition is now rare. Without DJ, as issued. Presents Hans-Georg Gadamer's "The Relevance of The Beautiful And Other Essays" in a felicitous English translation. His greatest essay on aesthetics, developed further by eleven other pieces, especially his critique of Immanuel Kant's "Critique of Judgment". Gadamer's aesthetics are consistent with, and a significant expansion of, his hermeneutics: He asserts that art is meaning that must be experienced, NOT deciphered - which is an arresting and original notion about hermeneutics itself - by both the artist/creator and the audience-recipient/lover of art. The fundamental aspect of the aesthetic experience, whether it be of literature, poetry, painting, music, or even architecture is that the reader, viewer, or listener experiences the work of art as if for the very first time, that it feels as if the work is addressed specifically to oneself, and that this amounts to nothing less than a life-changing event. Because he sees it as meaningful, Gadamer re-defines art as something that necessarily exists outside of and beyond historical space and time. At the same time, however, Gadamer "demonstrates the continuing importance of such hermeneutic concepts as imitation, truth, symbol, and play for our appreciation of contemporary art, and thereby establishes its continuity with the Western tradition" (Publisher's blurb). Gadamer's radical perspective clearly repudiates materialist-, technology-, identity politics-, and entertainment-premised aesthetics. And while he questions the very idea of the avant-garde as well as popular art, Gadamer's aesthetics ultimately "revitalizes our understanding of contemporary art" (Robert Bernasconi). There is no other modern critic or philosopher who has had a more compelling understanding of the centrality ("relevance") of art. We have other pressing life issues that we feel we can barely address let alone surmount. So we, thinkers and laymen alike, have consigned art to the realm of "luxury" as opposed to "necessity" as a matter of convenience. But such consignment impoverishes us. Gadamer proposes a philosophy of life as having an active notion of "surplus" in order for it to be worth living, that life-as-surplus is not an unattainable luxury but an existential necessity. An absolute "must-have" title for Hans-Georg Gadamer collectors. This title is a great book. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare copy thus. One of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER HANS-GEORG GADAMER TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0521241782. $300.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on October 16, 2019.