Saturday, February 05, 2011

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Jill Bennett writes in Empathic Vision: Affect, Trauma, and Contemporary Art that "It is always easy for art and for audiences of art to take the moral line - to feel sympathy and compassion, to use art to confirm us in our humanitarian role", then warns us "that identifications are not always the result of moral choices. And more than this, that there is an ethical imperative to think beyond the moral role, because as Nietzsche puts it: "[People] confound themselves with their role; they become victims of their own 'good performance'; they themselves have forgotten how much accidents, moods, and caprice disposed of them when the question of their 'vocation' was decided - and how many other roles they might have been able to play; for now it is too late...the role has actually become character; and art, nature."

(More info on Jill Bennett)

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