admit, consequently, the notion of the temporal transcendence of
the work of art?
Yes, but then
it is perhaps necessary to introduce a component which is not
accentuated by Kant, even if it is present in a subterranean way,
namely the connection with a public, the connection with an
amateur, in the strong sense of the word, for it is on the side
of the receiver of the work of art that there is revealed
another historicity, that of reception.
It is perhaps the historicity of the reception that we can best
decipher, in favor of the constitution of permanences across
their historicity: as if the work of art created for itself a
temporally open and indefinite public.
But then what is there between the two?
the fact that a work of art aims, beyond the intentionality of
its author, and insofar as it is a work of art, to be shared,
therefore first of all to be shown.
One can then return one by one to the arts in order to
show in what way each exhibits its « monstravity, »
its capacity to be shared between the creator and his public.
There would then certainly
be the need to distinguish, as Henri Gouhier has done,
between the arts of one time and the arts of two times,
those where the existence of the work coincides with its
creation -- painting and sculpture, for example -- and those
where the existence of the work requires a second time, which is
that of its recreation: theatrical representation, musical
execution, choreographic realization beginning with the writing
of a libretto, of a score, of a script.
One could then ask what is the status of a ballet, or of
a musical score when they are not played, while awaiting their
performance. It is
perhaps here, in this indefinite capacity to be reincarnated,
and in a way each time historically different, but substantially
and essentially founding, that the profound signified of the
libretto or of the score occupies the status of the sempiternal.
question that one can ask basically is this:
where is the work of art? What is its ontological place,
where does it exist? When
there is no reception, when
it sleeps during decades, the work exists, but where?
would say that it exists only in its capacity for « monstration »
respect to your thesis on communicability, one establishes from
the point of view of ‘monstration’ or of reception that all
the great works of art have been incommunicable in a certain way
or have not been received at the beginning. . .
this is a temporal turning point that has to be introduced,
which is the lag in reception; and there is doubtless something
specific in the work of art: its prophetic character, in the
sense that, breaking with the values of utility and commercial
values, the transcendence of the work of art is affirmed in
opposition to the utility that itself is exhausted in the
historical. It is
the capacity to transcend immediate utility that characterises
the work of art in this capacity for multiple and indefinite
could say that in the arts of two times the moment of the
sempiternal is in the hiding place (retrait)
of the libretto and the script, but the temporal test is in
capacity for a ‘monstration’ renewed endlessly, as being
always other although the
same, constitutes the link between the sempiternal and the
historic; perhaps here is the most pregnant temporal mark of the
work of art.
short, you admit that all
« monstration » supposes an interpretation and that
essentailly indebted to a hermeneutic on the side of reception,
but perhaps also on the side of creation?
The problem is to know whether there can be a creation which is
not an anticipation of its own reception. This is the
problem posed by the intimate journal, in particular Samuel
Pepys’ diary, which was intended for himself; doubtless this
is an extreme and dubious case, since the work was preserved in
order to become public. Does this mean that the idea of
the unrecognized genius is not also a limit case and as it were
the negative of a deceived expectation or an expectation of
something different? There is a kind of “Nachtraglichkeit,”
like an “after-effect” which ultimately marks the
victory of ‘monstration’ over the unrecognized. To be sure,
if an artist remained totally unrecognized, we would not know
him! Only those enter into the common glory who ultimately,
later on, have been re-cognized. And that delayed
re-cognition is another way, besides, of vanquishing temporality
on the level of its unfolding. A rupture of the sequence
results from this retrospective anticipation which effects that
it is in a future anterior that the creation will have been
temporally received; it will have been true that this work had
the destiny of monstration and therefore of encounter and