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This Strange Idea of the Beautiful
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This Strange Idea of the Beautiful (Hardback)

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Synopsis

In "This Strange Idea of the Beautiful", Francois Jullien brings together ideas of beauty from both Eastern and Western philosophy in order to challenge the assumptions underlying our commonly agreed upon definition of what is beautiful and offer a new way of beholding art. Jullien argues that the Western concept of beauty was established by Greek philosophy and consequently became embedded within the very structure of European languages. And due to its relationship to language, this concept has determined ways of thinking about beauty that often go unnoticed or unchecked in discussions of Western aesthetics. Moreover, through globalization, Western ideals of beauty have even spread to cultures whose ancient traditions are based upon radically different aesthetic foundations, yet these cultures have adopted such views without question and without recognizing the cultural assumptions they contain. Looking specifically at how Chinese texts have been translated into Western languages, Jullien reveals how the traditional Chinese refusal to isolate or abstract beauty is obscured in translation in order to make the works more understandable to Western readers.

Creating an engaging dialogue between Chinese and Western ideas, Jullien reassesses the essence of beauty.

Francois Jullien is professor at Universite Paris Diderot, a member of the Institut universitaire de France, and director of the Institut de la pensee contemporaine. His other books include In Praise of Blandness: Proceeding from Chinese Thought and Aesthetics, The Impossible Nude, and Silent Transformations, the last also published by Seagull Books. Krzysztof Fijalkowski is a senior lecturer in critical studies at the Norwich Unversity College of the Arts. Michael Richardson's translations with Fijalkowski include Refusal of the Shadow, Surrealism Against the Current, and States of Violence: An Essay on the End of War, the last also published by Seagull Books.

More books by Francois Jullien

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