more from W Wimsatt/W Beardsley

Single Idea 7267

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 1. Artistic Intentions]

Full Idea

Poetry differs from practical messages, which are successful if and only if we correctly infer the intention.

Gist of Idea

Poetry, unlike messages, can be successful without communicating intentions


W Wimsatt/W Beardsley (The Intentional Fallacy [1946], žI)

Book Reference

'Philosophy Looks at the Arts', ed/tr. Margolis,Joseph [Charles Scribner 1962], p.93

A Reaction

I am not convinced by this claim. It is plausible that a work does much more than it intends (Astaire said he danced "to make a buck"), but it is rather odd to rate very highly a work of which you have missed the point.