Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Enigmas of Identity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Brooks

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151588

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151588.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

The Madness of Art

The Madness of Art

(p.170) 7 The Madness of Art
Enigmas of Identity

Peter Brooks

Princeton University Press

This chapter suggests that the self facing its extinction may make particularly concerted, wild, mad reactions to the impending nothingness of its identity, in late work of a new, unbound creativity. There have, over the ages, been artists in all sorts of media who have had the capacity for self-reinvention late in their careers—often involving a whole new manner, a “late style” that is often their principal claim to greatness in the eyes of posterity. The chapter then assesses the relation of self-reinvention to self-dissolution. In the limiting circumstances of self-dissolution come such phenomena as Beethoven's late quartets—which, in his by then total deafness, he could not hear—or Matisse's late cutouts—these being a return to the art and techne of childhood at a point where he could no longer wield the paintbrush, in which one can find the brilliant invention of a new “period” in his work in response to necessity.

Keywords:   self-reinvention, self-dissolution, necessity, late style, Beethoven, Matisse

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.