Here and there: an artist's writing as aesthetic form

Mary Anne Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developing the recent interest in ‘art-writing’, this one-act play explores one aspect of that area: specifically, an artist’s writing. The monologue adapts Mieke Bal’s notion of art history, written from the place of its objects, to invoke the idea of an artist’s writing as writing by and as an artist. Contending that this is writing as aesthetic form, the play’s ‘Speaker’ proposes that an artist’s writing is distinct from other forms of discourse about art precisely by virtue of its aesthetic dimension. The speaker defines ‘aesthetic’ via Hegel’s notion of the arts as a symbolic discourse in which the signifier is visible, and ‘motivated’ by its signified. In a Hegelian scheme, this makes the arts inferior, and hence makes the task of defending aesthetic writing, which takes up the rest of this drama, all the more urgent. The case is made with reference to pedagogic pragmatics, cultural politics, ethics and therapeutics: Barthes’ ‘pleasure of the text’ – with which the text concludes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-109
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Writing in Creative Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


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