It was a pleasure to read Lawrence W. Hyman’s statement: “It is not a moral direction that we must look for in literature but a disturbance” (“Literature and Political Action,” DISSENT, July—August 1967).
Hyman provides an exciting way for handling moralistic objections—from Left and Right—that art is too often dissociated from our moral and political concerns. Since, however, he styles himself a contextualist critic, Hyman must be aware that with this idea of art he is keeping rather strange company.
The idea that art provides not order but disturbance, that it upsets and exercises the categories of perception we bring to art and to the world in general, belongs to the behavioral science...
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $35 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.