Cloth $27.00 ISBN: 9780226772233 Published December 1995
Paper $22.50 ISBN: 9780226772240 Published November 1997

The Scandal of Pleasure

Art in an Age of Fundamentalism

Wendy Steiner

The Scandal of Pleasure
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Wendy Steiner

263 pages | 27 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 1995
Cloth $27.00 ISBN: 9780226772233 Published December 1995
Paper $22.50 ISBN: 9780226772240 Published November 1997
Surveying a wide range of cultural controversies, from the Mapplethorpe affair to Salman Rushdie's death sentence, from canon-revision in the academy to the scandals that have surrounded Anthony Blunt, Martin Heidegger, and Paul de Man, Wendy Steiner shows that the fear and outrage they inspired are the result of dangerous misunderstanding about the relationship between art and life.

"Stimulating. . . . A splendid rebuttal of those on the left and right who think that the pleasures induced by art are trivial or dangerous. . . . One of the most powerful defenses of the potentiality of art."—Andrew Delbanco, New York Times Book Review

"A concise and . . . readable account of recent contretemps that have galvanized the debate over the role and purposes of art. . . . [Steiner] writes passionately about what she believes in."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"This is one of the few works of cultural criticism that is actually intelligible to the nonspecialist reader. . . . Steiner's perspective is fresh and her perceptions invariably shrewd, far-ranging, and reasonable. A welcome association of sense and sensibility."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Steiner has succeeded so well in [the] task she has undertaken. The Scandal of Pleasure is itself characterized by many of the qualities Steiner demans of art, among them, complexity, tolerance and the pleasures of unfettered thought."—Eleanor Heartly, Art in America

"Steiner . . . provides the best and clearest short presentation of each of [the] debates."—Alexander Nehamas, Boston Book Review

"Steiner has done a fine job as a historian/reporter and as a writer of sophisticated, very clear, cultural criticism. Her reportage alone would be enough to make this a distinguished book."—Mark Edmundson, Lingua Franca
Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface
Introduction
The Arts Embattled
1. The Perfect Moment
2. The Literalism of the Left
3. Fetish or Fatwa?
4. Caliban in the Ivory Tower
5. La Trahison des Clercs
Conclusion
Enlightened Beguilement
Notes
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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