By Stephen David Ross
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Additional resources for A theory of art: inexhaustibility by contrast
W. , New York, Free Press, 1978. Page 4 one experience is the central movement in Whitehead's theory, and it inevitably engenders contrasts: the synthesis or unification of a multiplicity in one prehension or feeling. This notion of prehension is very general in Whitehead's theory: for the moment we may neglect it and consider his position, with some simplification, to be that the conjunction of diverse components is a contrast, that a contrast is comprised of a synthesis of one and many in which multiplicity is preserved, in which synthesis does not supersede differences.
Intensity is attained where the opposition is strong or where the unification is exceptional. The most important feature of contrast is its capacity to produce level upon level of complex contrast upon contrast. I n this respect it is very like romantic irony, which admits of irony upon irony, and the theory of romantic irony is an incomplete theory of contrast founded upon the central contrast of artist and audience. The notion of intensity of contrast may appear to be a matter of degree: greater unification of disparate elements, a greater range of variation within a common synthesis.
Perhaps for a time; certainly not for posterity. Even if it is the feelings of the artist which are to be represented or expressed, it is not the accuracy of representation which is of importance, but the strength of conviction, the firmness of impulse. The truth inherent in mimetic theory is a subtle and complex one. Langer pursues it in a theory where the work is symbolic of feeling yet also a mere image having no model. Such a view expresses a partial truth, but in confusing terms. Images without objects, appearances without a reality, are remarkably obscure.
A theory of art: inexhaustibility by contrast by Stephen David Ross