St Paul, MN Great Books Discussion Group - Intro to Great Books 1st Series-Ch 10

Given our reading for this month's St Paul Great Books Discussion Group's "Shared Inquiry,"An Essay in Aesthetics" by Roger Fry, I'm expecting we will enjoy a lively and enlightening discussion on Sept 26 at Ol' Mexico Restaurante.

Welcome all convivial readers of Great Books! Please be seated and ready to begin discussions at 11:30 AM. We will take a brief break mid-way through the time allowed for our discussion. Social time welcome following the discussion.

Below are some questions we may consider during our "Shared Inquiry".

Interpretive Questions for Discussion:

1. Why does Fry think there is every reason for some works of art to be ugly?

2. Does Fry think art can affect our actions?

3. How would Fry explain why some works of art gain immediate recognition and others gain recognition only after a long period of time?

4. Can an object created for use, such as a china pot, become a work of art?

5. Does the artist have a moral responsibility?

6. Can art evoke undesirable emotions, such as hate and fear?

7. Why does Fry call the imaginative life "secondary"? (179)

8. Why does Fry consider art the chief organ of the imaginative life?

9. Why do we need art if we already have active imaginations?

10. Why is recognition of the artist's purpose an essential part of the aesthetic judgment?

11. How does artistic vision differ from ordinary perception?

12. Why are the emotions of the imaginative life weaker but more pure? (178)

13. Why does Fry think it is important for people occasionally both to "feel" and to "watch" their emotions? (180)

14. Why do the things that are useful to us wear a "cap of invisibility"? (179)

15. Does art distort reality, or portray it more exactly?

Passages for Textual Analysis

Pages[masked]; beginning, "I must begin with some elementary psychology, " and ending, "and a different kind of perception."

Pages[masked]: beginning, "Art, then, is, if I am right, the chief organ," and ending, "our own time that there is no need to prove it."

Pages[masked]: beginning, "If, then, an object of any kind is created, and ending, "supremely and magnificently ugly."

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