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New Scholarship: Richard Deming, Art of the Ordinary

Richard Deming, Art of the Ordinary, The Everyday Domain of Art, Film, Philosophy, and Poetry, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2018.

FROM Cornell University Press: "Cutting across literature, film, art, and philosophy, Art of the Ordinary is a trailblazing, cross-disciplinary engagement with the ordinary and the everyday. Because, writes Richard Deming, the ordinary is always at hand, it is, in fact, too familiar for us to perceive it and become fully aware of it. The ordinary he argues, is what most needs to be discovered and yet is something that can never be approached, since to do so is to immediately change it.Art of the Ordinary explores how philosophical questions can be revealed in surprising places—as in a stand-up comic’s routine, for instance, or a Brillo box, or a Hollywood movie. From negotiations with the primary materials of culture and community, ways of reading "self" and "other" are made available, deepening one’s ability to respond to ethical, social, and political dilemmas. Deming picks out key figures, such as the philosophers Stanley Cavell, Arthur Danto, and Richard Wollheim; poet John Ashbery; artist Andy Warhol; and comedian Steven Wright, to showcase the foundational concepts of language, ethics, and society. Deming interrogates how acts of the imagination by these people, and others, become the means for transforming the alienated ordinary into a presence of the everyday that constantly and continually creates opportunities of investment in its calls on interpretive faculties.In Art of the Ordinary, Deming brings together the arts, philosophy, and psychology in new and compelling ways so as to offer generative, provocative insights into how we think and represent the world to others as well as to ourselves."

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Richard Deming consulted the Yale Collection of American Literature book collection and archival materials related to the work of John Ashbery and Andy Warhol in archives including: Henry Geldzahler Papers, Gerard Malanga Papers, and New World Writing Records; additional archival resources may be found in the Beinecke Library’s Finding Aid Database.

 

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The Beinecke Library encourages scholars, students, and the public to engage the past in the present for the future. In the service of new scholarship, the library offers generous fellowships for visiting scholars and for graduate students to support research in a wide range of fields. To learn more about fellowship opportunities, please visit beinecke.library.yale.edu/fellowships

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