November 1963

Arts and the Man. By Irwin Edman.

Author Affiliations

Price, $1.85. Pp 154, with no illustrations. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 55 Fifth Ave, New York 3, 1939.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(5):790. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860050177027

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"Understanding art" and appreciating it may be casual employment for the dilettante, but for the clinician of art, the expert or professional of aesthetics, not only does art provide a rewarding existence it may provide a living. To write sensibly about the appreciation of various aspects of art appears to the average man as being nearly as difficult as writing intelligibly about religion or philosophy. Indeed, art in its broad sense bears a close relationship to religion and philosophy. The average man, caught as he is in the crossfire of contradiction, hardly knows where he can listen to the proper drummer of appropriate drums.

Surely Edman's book is an expression of faith, a credo, as well as the usual series of definitions and descriptions. A major function of art and perhaps the whole function of the artist is to catch the essence of experience by rendering it alive, which is

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