Jauss distinguishes between three basic modes of

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Jauss distinguishes between three basic modes of artistic enjoyment, which he calls "poiesis," "aisthesis," and "catharsis." The first, poiesis, is the experience of art as a mode of productive activity. Once the exclusive pre- serve of the artist, in open works of the twentieth century poiesis is shared by authors with the readers, who must complete their creations. Jauss is tatt- ing, I believe, about the sense of accomplishment we experience in helping James create the world of The Golden Bowl or Joyce that of Ulysses. The sec- ond, aisthesis, involves the contemplative, passively receptive experience of
51 Theories of Literary History art. This type of experience can take the "language-critical" form of raptur- ous aporia—Roland Barthes's jouissance —of the sort that might be stimu- lated, say, by Robbe-Grillet's wasteland of signifiers. Or it may take what Jauss editorializes is the less alienating and healthier "cosmological" form when we observe how the world looks through another's eyes, as in Proust's The Past Recaptured. The third, catharsis, is the communicative function of poetry, what brings about in the reader "both a change in belief and the lib- eration of his mind." This is the familiar "delight and instruct" function of art, which Jauss traces from Aristotle to Brecht. For Jauss, I must stress, these three modalities of aesthetic experience are not static categories but dialecti- cal alternatives each of which has had its own historical development. 19 Jauss's first essay in this mode of historical reception-study was a consider- ably more synchronic study than his piece on Baudelaire. This was a short piece called "Le douceur du foyer: Lyric Poetry of the Year 1857 as a Model for the Communication of Social Norms." In effect this is an examination of the literary sociology of what Americans would call the "home sweet home" theme, as it appears in lyrics of that year by poets ranging in stature from Baudelaire and Hugo down through minor figures like Damey, Lemoine, and Magnier. The problem with the newer and more complicated model of literary re- ception that Jauss has been moving toward since about 1977 is that it seems to be missing a motor. In the inaugural lecture, literary history was driven by the horizontal gaps between author and audience, gaps that demanded an effort of fusion, which in turn could result in either the rejection of the text, temporarily or permanently, from the literary scene, or the transformation (at least in part) of the sensibility of the audience. But in Jauss's more recent work on aesthetic experience, the crucial issue of shifts in the horizon of ex- pectations on the part of the audience tends to drop out of the picture: he presents a pluralistic universe in which audiences are free to make whatever use or take whatever pleasure they choose, and the choices made seem less crucial to determining the direction of literary history. As Robert Holub observed about the direction of Jauss's recent work, it seems that its revolu-

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