Friday, March 02, 2007

Auden and "aesthetics"

I just found more on Auden, law, and aestetics.
If you're still interested, read on.
The very next chapter in "The Dyer's Hand" deals with his guilty (pun intended) pleasure of reading murder mysteries.
Of the Human Mileu of these mysteries, he writes (italics are mine, he can't have them),

It must appear to be an innocent society in a state of grace, i.e., a society where there is no need of the law, no contradiction between the aesthetic individual and
the ethical universal
, and where muder, therefore, is the unheard-of act which precipitates a crisis (for it reveals that some memeber has fallen and is no longer in a state of grace). The law becomes a reality and for a time all must live in its shadow, till the fallen one is identified. With his arrest, innocence is restored, and the law retires forever.

Make of it what you will. I love this kind of stuff.


Megan Frampton said...

Salon is doing a whole Auden thing right now--is that coincidence, or your inspiration for reading him? Me, I'm too busy with Love's Savage Splendor or something to bother.

Goedi said...

Coincidence, I think.
I'll go check out Salon post haste. (I assume you mean

Megan Frampton said...

Shoot! It's Slate. I get those online mags all mixed up.