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Paisley Livingston

These brief comments focus on only one of the many strands of Murray Smith’s (2017) wide-ranging and excellent new book Film, Art, and the Third Culture , namely his discussion of aesthetic experience. Smith claims that aesthetic experience is “a

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Naturalizing Aesthetic Experience

The Role of (Liberated) Embodied Simulation

Vittorio Gallese

chapter of his book, Smith introduces the notion of “triangulating aesthetic experience” (2017: 60). The starting point is a brave one, with which I couldn’t agree more: empirical approaches can help us to address film and art experience. Building upon

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Murray Smith

historically longstanding and evidently very tempting, but ultimately misleading, analogy between film and dream. Levinson’s more measured formulation is about as far as it is plausible to go in this direction. Aesthetic Experience In the course of laying out

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Héctor J. Pérez

works. My narratological approach identifies qualities of the phenomenon that provoke certain emotional reactions in the spectator that could be said to play a relevant role in the configuration of their aesthetic experience. The clearest example is

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Laura T. Di Summa-Knoop

generalizations, provide a satisfactory explanation of these cases? This is an important question for two reasons. The first is that complex cases are the ones that contribute to the distinction between ordinary experience and aesthetic experience, especially if

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Todd Berliner

Hollywood makes the most widely successful pleasure-giving artworks the world has ever known. The American film industry operates under the assumption that pleasurable aesthetic experiences, among huge populations, translate into box office

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Venetian (Still) Life

The Displacement of Ethical Response in the Travel Writing of W.D. Howells

Shaul Bassi and Barbara Del Mercato

There are some well-known tourist destinations that promise aesthetic experience while simultaneously confronting the traveller with the unpleasant sight of human misery. It could be even argued that the more a site is aestheticized, the more the ethical dilemmas that it potentially poses for travellers who wish to enjoy the place’s beauty without moral disquiet. A number of psychological and representational strategies are thus devised to allow unimpeded enjoyment, so that the visitor to the Taj Mahal or Angkor Wat can admire architectural wonders while observing that the Indian or Cambodian poor are nevertheless ‘decorous’ and ‘dignified’. This article analyzes the aesthetization of one particular site and the displacement of ethical dilemmas in a location which is less obviously exotic. We will try to demonstrate how certain moral issues presented themselves to a nineteenth-century American traveller in Venice, and how s/he expressed these dilemmas while simultaneously defusing their unsettling potential.

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Robert Pirro

In times of political or social crisis, issues of identity and affiliation

tend to become more salient. In response to the threatened or actual

disruption of the routines of material provision, social order, and

ideological legitimation, definitions of self and community that had

formerly been considered authoritative come under more frequent

and more extensive questioning. Responses to this condition of

uncertainty and doubt about identity and affiliation are typically

forthcoming from many different quarters: party politicians, leaders

of social movements, public intellectuals, religious authorities. Such

responses can also be quite varied as was the case, for example, in

the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Only months after the

event and with major questions about the future of the two Germanies

in the air, Jürgen Habermas surveyed the various possible sources of German identity that were on offer at that time—economic prestige

(“DM nationalism”), cultural inheritance, linguistic unity, ethnic

descent, historical fate, aesthetic experience, and constitutional patriotism—

and found all but the last seriously wanting.3 In any given

episode of crisis and questioning, most responses will ultimately

have little or no effect; the eventual reestablishment of the routines

of provision, order, and legitimation usually means that one or

another set of definitions of self and community has won out and

become authoritative for a critical mass of citizens.

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Ted Nannicelli

particular interest to our readership is its abiding commitment to interdisciplinarity. More specifically, Smith proposes that the study of our aesthetic experience of cinema ought to be approached through a process of “triangulation.” On Smith’s view

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Film, Art, and the Third Culture

A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film—Précis

Murray Smith

spectatorship, art, and aesthetic experience within more general theories of consciousness and cognition. These themes are explored through a diverse array of individual films and styles of filmmaking, from the decidedly mainstream to the resolutely experimental