A timeless present

As advised by Kathryn, I have started reading Jeanette Winterson’s book: Art Objects. In her book Winterson writes about Woolf, and Kathryn thought I might find it interesting. And I certainly do! But at the moment I’m not only reading Woolf, I’m also reading Gadamer in preparation for some lectures I will be giving. Of course I  did not expect any correlations between Gadamer and Winterson – but see what I found:

In the introduction to her essay Winterson has written

If truth is that which lasts, then art has proved truer than any other human endeavour. What is certain is that pictures and poetry and music are not only marks in time but mark through time, of their own time and ours, not antique or historical, but living as they ever did, exuberantly, untired.

This statement seemed very similar to something I had just read somewhere else. So I went to Mr Gadamer, and here it was:

The creator of a work of art may intend the public of his own time, but the real being of his work is what it is able to say, and this being reaches fundamentally beyond any historical confinement

In this sense, the work of art occupies a timeless present

Hans-Georg Gadamer: “Aesthetics and Hermeneutics”

Unbelievable really, how seemingly very different works can intertwine … and how these unintended connections suddenly become very meaningful.

I am so happy to have a reason to introduce my students not only for hermeneutics, but also for Wintersons beautiful text!

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