Aleksandr Voronsky's Aesthetic Realism: "Art Is the Cognition of Life"

Alzo David-West


This paper follows up on "The Soviet Aesthetics of Aleksandr Voronsky," which attempted a brief exposition of the aesthetic theory of the pre-Stalinist Russian literary critic by way of his Marxism-Plekhanovism, his understanding of art and the unconscious, and his method of aesthetic evaluation. While that work said Voronsky's proposition "art is the cognition of life" is a "general psychologistic definition," closer examination reveals that Voronsky is actually advancing a form of normative aesthetic realism and that he is defining, defending, and promoting the tradition of realistic-mimetic art.


Philosophy; Psychology; Aesthetics; Voronsky; Soviet Aesthetics

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