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Derek Allan
Australian National University
  1.  38
    The Birth and Death of Beauty in Western Art.Derek Allan - manuscript
    Examines (1) the birth of the art-of-beauty in Western art and the concomitant birth of the idea of art itself; (2) the death of the art-of-beauty from Manet onwards. Also looks briefly at some major implications for aesthetics (the philosophy of art). Paper includes some relevant reproductions.
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  2. Literature and the Passing of Time: Reflecting on the Temporal Nature of Art.Derek Allan - manuscript
    The paper explores the much-neglected but crucial topic of the capacity of art to transcend time.
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  3. Laclos and the Dark Side of the Enlightenment.Derek Allan - manuscript
    The conventional view that all Enlightenment thinkers believed that the fruits of Reason could only be beneficial is not necessarily accurate. Laclos, whose celebrated novel "Les Liaisons dangereueses" was published in 1782, provides a perspective on the world of Reason that does not square with that view. Working at the level of individual psychology, Reason in Laclos's novel divides the world into the strong and the weak – more specifically, the astute and the naive. It defines human worth in terms (...)
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  4. Literature and Knowledge.Derek Allan - manuscript
    Can novels, plays and poetry tell us something important and true about who we are, about others, and about life generally? The question seems to be of interest not only to writers on literary theory and aesthetics, but to people generally. This paper considers the issues involved.
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  5. Why Art is Never Representation - Even When It Represents.Derek Allan - manuscript
    The question of whether or not art is essentially a representation of reality has long been a bone of contention among philosophers of art – especially in the major branch of that discipline called the analytic philosophy of art, or analytic aesthetics. This paper argues that art - visual art, literature or music - is never essentially representation. The argument is based on the thinking of André Malraux in "The Voices of Silence".
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  6.  46
    The Conquest of Time: The Forgotten Power of Art.Derek Allan - manuscript
    It’s common knowledge that those objects we regard as great works of art have a capacity to survive across time. But that observation is only a half-truth: it tells us nothing about the nature of this power of survival – about how art endures. -/- This question was once at the heart of Western thinking about art. The Renaissance solved it by claiming that great art is “timeless”, “eternal” – impervious to time, a belief that exerted a powerful influence on (...)
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  7.  56
    Beauty, Art and the Western Tradition.Derek Allan - manuscript
    From the Renaissance onwards, the Western tradition singled out the term beauty for a unique and highly prestigious role. As Christian belief began its gradual decline, Renaissance art invented a rival transcendence in the form of an exalted world of nobility, harmony and beauty – the world exemplified by the works of painters such as Raphael, Titian and Poussin. Beauty in this sense quickly became the ruling ideal of Western art, subsequently underpinning the explanations of the nature and function of (...)
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  8.  86
    Creation Ex Nihilo: André Malraux and the Concept of Artistic Creation.Derek Allan - manuscript
    One might naturally suppose that philosophers of art would take a strong interest in the idea of creation in the context of art. In fact, this has often not been the case. In analytic aesthetics, the issue tends to dwell on the sidelines and in continental aesthetics a shadow has sometimes been cast over the topic by the notion of the “death of the author” and by the claim, as Roland Barthes put it, that the author is only ever able (...)
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  9.  33
    Art and the "Real World".Derek Allan - manuscript
    A conference paper examining the relationship between art and what is loosely termed the “real world”.
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  10. A Logical Redeemer: Kirillov in Dostoevsky’s 'Demons'.Derek Allan - 2014 - Journal of European Studies 44 (2).
    The engineer Kirillov, a major character in Dostoevsky's 'Demons', has provoked considerable critical disagreement. In 'The Myth of Sisyphus', Albert Camus argues that he expresses the theme of ‘logical suicide’ with ‘the most admirable range and depth’. Some recent commentators, however, have dismissed Kirillov as a madman in the grip of a mad theory. -/- While dissenting from Camus’s analysis in certain respects, this article offers an interpretation consistent with his basic argument. Kirillov’s suicide is based on a simple, if (...)
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  11.  90
    Analytic Aesthetics and the Dilemma of Timelessness.Derek Allan - manuscript
    The paper highlights analytic aesthetics’ unacknowledged assumption that art is timeless, a view it inherited from Enlightenment thinkers such as Hume and Kant, who in turn inherited it from the Renaissance. This view, I contend, is no longer tenable because it is at odds with our experience of the art of the past. Analytic aesthetics avoids this key problem because it confines its attention to issues such as the nature of aesthetic pleasure, whether the appreciation of art should be disinterested (...)
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  12. Literature and Reality.Derek Allan - 2001 - Journal of European Studies 31 (122):143-156.
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  13.  37
    The Death of Beauty: Goya's Etchings and Black Paintings Through the Eyes of André Malraux.Derek Allan - 2016 - History of European Ideas 42 (7):965-980.
    Modern critics often regard Goya's etchings and black paintings as satirical observations on the social and political conditions of his times. In a study of Goya first published in 1950, which seldom receives the attention it merits, the French author and art theorist André Malraux contends that these works have a much deeper significance. The etchings and black paintings, Malraux argues, represent a fundamental challenge to the humanist artistic tradition that began with the Renaissance - a tradition founded on the (...)
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  14.  33
    The Power of an Idea: Raskolnikov in 'Crime and Punishment'.Derek Allan - 2016 - Literary Imagination (2016).
    Rodion Raskolnikov, the central figure in Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, is one of the best-known characters in the world of the novel but one who continues to pose major interpretive problems. Why exactly does he murder the old pawnbroker and her sister? Why, throughout the novel, does he continue to believe that he has committed no crime? And why, despite this belief, does he suffer a form of psychological breakdown and eventually give himself up to the police? This article, which (...)
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  15.  23
    André Malraux: The Commitment to Action in 'La Condition Humaine'.Derek Allan - 1988 - In Harold Bloom (ed.), André Malraux's Man's Fate. Chelsea House.
    Discusses the function of action in Malraux's third and most famous novel.
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  16.  22
    Vanquishing Temporal Distance: Malraux, Art and Metamorphosis.Derek Allan - 2016 - Australian Journal of French Studies 53 (1-2):136-148.
    How does art – literature, visual art, or music – endure over time? What special power does it possess that enables it to “transcend” time – to overcome temporal distance and speak to us not just as evidence of times gone by, but as a living presence? The Renaissance, which discovered this transcendent power of art in the classical sculpture and literature it admired so strongly, concluded that great art is impervious to time – “timeless”, “immortal”, “eternal” – a belief (...)
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  17.  89
    An Intellectual Revolution: André Malraux and the Temporal Nature of Art.Derek Allan - 2009 - Journal of European Studies 39 (2):198-224.
    Very little has been written in recent decades about the temporal nature of art. The two principal explanations provided by our Western cultural tradition are that art is timeless (`eternal') or that it belongs within the world of historical change. Neither account offers a plausible explanation of the world of art as we know it today, which contains large numbers of works which are self-evidently not timeless because they have been resurrected after long periods of oblivion with significances quite different (...)
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  18.  91
    André Malraux and the Challenge to Aesthetics.Derek Allan - 2003 - Journal of European Studies 33 (128): 23-40.
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  19.  20
    Andre Malraux and the Modern, Transcultural Concept of Art.Derek Allan - 2005 - Literature & Aesthetics 15 (1):79-98.
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  20.  19
    Art as Anti-Destiny: Foundations of André Malraux’s Theory of Art.Derek Allan - 2003 - Literature and Aesthetics 13 (2):7-16.
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  21.  55
    'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' Through the Eyes of André Malraux.Derek Allan - 2012 - Journal of European Studies 42 (2):123-139.
    Choderlos de Laclos’s novel 'Les Liaisons dangereuses', first published in 1782, is regarded as one of the outstanding works of French literature. This article concerns a well known commentary by the twentieth-century writer André Malraux which, though often mentioned by critics, has seldom been studied in detail. The article argues that, while Malraux endorses the favourable modern assessments of 'Les Liaisons dangereuses', his analysis diverges in important respects from prevailing critical opinion. In particular, he regards the work as the commencement (...)
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  22. Art, Time and Metamorphosis.Derek Allan - 2007 - In Jan Lloyd Jones (ed.), Art and Time. Australian Scholarly Publishing. pp. 1.
  23. Art: A Rival World - An Aspect of André Malraux's Theory of Art.Derek Allan - 2010 - In Jan Lloyd Jones & Julian Lamb (eds.), Art and Authenticity. Australian Scholarly Publishing.
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  24. The Creative Process: An Aspect of André Malraux’s Theory of Art.Derek Allan - 2010 - Revue/Malraux/Review 37:66-84.
    Examines Malraux's account of the creative process in art, discusses a misreading of Malraux by Merleau-Ponty, and highlights shortcomings in certain "analytic aesthetics" accounts of the creative process.
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  25.  63
    'Reckless Inaccuracies Abounding': André Malraux and the Birth of a Myth.Derek Allan - 2009 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (2):147-158..
    After an initial period of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, André Malraux’s works on the theory of art, "The Voices of Silence" and "The Metamorphosis of the Gods", lapsed into relative obscurity. A major factor in this fall from grace was the frosty reception given to these works by a number of leading art historians, including E.H. Gombrich, who accused Malraux of an irresponsible approach to art history and of "reckless inaccuracies". This essay examines a representative sample of the (...)
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  26.  28
    André Malraux.Derek Allan - 2014 - In Michael Kelly (ed.), Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. 2nd edition (Oxford University Press). pp. 239-243 (Vol 4).
    An overview of Malraux's theory of art, with sub-headings: "Basic Principles","The Creative Process","The Emergence of 'Art'","Art and Time", "The Modern Universal World of Art", and "Critical Responses". Includes a brief discussion of the musée imaginaire.
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  27.  12
    Finding the Battle: History and the Individual in 'Les Conquérants' and 'La Condition Humaine’.Derek Allan - 1990 - Australian Journal of French Studies (2):173-181.
    Discusses the gulf between the individual and collective experience, and the way the gulf is bridged in two of Malraux's novels.
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  28.  12
    The Psychology of a Terrorist: Tchen in 'La Condition Humaine'.Derek Allan - 1982 - Nottingham French Studies 21 (1):48-66.
    Discusses the psychology of the terrorist Tchen in Malraux's 'Man's Fate'.
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  29.  5
    An Inhuman Transcendence: Perken in Malraux's 'La Voie Royale’.Derek Allan - 1995 - Journal of European Studies 25:109-121.
    Examines an aspect of Malraux's exploration of action as a value.
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  30. Art and the Human Adventure: André Malraux's Theory of Art.Derek Allan - 2009 - Rodopi.
    " Suitable for both newcomers to Malraux and more advanced students, the study also examines critical responses to these works by figures such as Maurice ...
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  31. Art and Time.Derek Allan - 2013 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    A well-known feature of great works of art is their power to “live on” long after the moment of their creation – to remain vital and alive long after the culture in which they were born has passed into history. This power to transcend time is common to works as various as the plays of Shakespeare, the Victory of Samothrace, and many works from early cultures such as Egypt and Buddhist India which we often encounter today in major art museums. (...)
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  32. “L’Art, le temps et la métamorphose : Un aspect révolutionnaire de la théorie de l'art d’André Malraux”.Derek Allan - 2017 - Frankofoni 30 (Feb/March):135-146.
    Explains a key aspect of Malraux's theory of art – his explanation of the nature of artistic creation. The question is widely neglected in modern aesthetics.
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  33. Malraux, l’art et le temps : Un défi à l’esthétique traditionnelle.Derek Allan - 2018 - In Évelyne Lantonnet (ed.), Malraux et le temps, La Revue des lettres modernes. Série: André Malraux, n° 14,. Paris: Garnier. pp. 99-111.
    One of the most remarkable contributions André Malraux makes to the theory of art is his explanation of the relationship between art and time: his argument that art transcends time through a process of metamorphosis. This proposition, which replaces the traditional belief that art resists time because it is eternal or immortal, poses a major challenge to traditional aesthetics. This article examines the notion of metamorphosis and the challenge it represents.
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