No Thumbnail Available
Professor Gadamer wrote two lengthy final essays that culminate his collection of essays on aesthetic theory in his Collected Works [Gesammelte Werke], volume 8, titled Kunst als Aussage [Art as Assertion]. The first of the two essays is "Wort und Bild:‘So wahr, so seiend！'" [Word and Image: "So true, so full of being!"] and the other is "Zur Phanomenologie von Ritual und Sprache" [On the Phenomenology of Ritual and Language]. Neither of these two late essays has yet been translated into English. The first was composed in 1991 and the other in 1992 and they appeared in volume 8 in 1993. At the 1998 meeting of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature, I offered the present paper as an analysis of Gadamer's concept of Bild (image) as given in the essay, "Wort und Bild." I presented my paper in the form of eleven assertions Gadamer makes about artworks that take the form of a visible image. I clarified each of the assertions briefly. Some of the major claims about the artwork that are made by Gadamer in these eleven propositions are: that it hold a certain sovereignty in its very being, it presents itself as contemporane- ous with the viewer no matter how old it may be, it "takes place" for the viewer as an event in time, it absorbs the viewer into itself, it is by no means merely a copy of something, it is both beautiful and true and escapes all external measurement, and finally it is "read" in the way that one reads a text. The process of reading has a great deal to say about the way we experience any artwork. These eleven assertions constitute a good introduction to Gadamer's account of the experience of the artwork.