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In search of the relationship between critical acclaim and mass popularity. [Aug 2006]
Stephen David Ross's A Theory of Art (1982) defines greatness simply as an enduring ability to generate further articulative responses. Because this ability can be produced by conditions of power, by genuine characteristics of the work, by historical accidents, or in any other number of other ways -- none of which are given priority -- and because articulative responses can include everything from references in coffee-table books to doctoral dissertations or further works of art, it seems an accurate description of what actually happens to works that have been granted special status by posterity. --Robert J. Belton [Aug 2006]
Citizen Kane (1941) - Orson Welles [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Citizen Kane: Cinema's Shakespeare.
Greatness is a vague concept that is heavily dependent on a person's perspective and biases. It is a term that is often used, however, by people trying to emphasize a thing's superiority. In Europe the most lauded rulers were given the suffix "the Great" (e.g. Alfred the Great).
One common practice is to assemble lists of great people, things, and places. They can be formulated by panels of experts, polls, or an ordinary individual. While these lists can never be considered definitive this is part of their appeal for they inevitably spark debate over what should be listed.
An especially common assembly of great things are greatest hits collections of tracks that are often released by music groups. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greatness [Mar 2005]
Great works of art are variously described as masterpiece, magnum opus or seminal work.
The 10 most translated authors
The 10 most translated authors, as listed in Unesco's Index Translationum are generally not considered the world's greatest authors, although there is some overlap.
In postmodernismMost postmodern writers deny that there is any inherent characteristic of an artwork which ensures that it will last through the centuries as a significant moment in visual history. Certainly form cannot fill the bill because it provides no objective standard that is not compromised by a political construct. Some simply dismiss the idea of the masterpiece altogether, replacing pseudotranshistorical observations with historically grounded ones.
Others retain the idea of greatness, but they try to describe it more matter-of-factly. One such is Stephen David Ross's A Theory of Art, which defines greatness simply as an enduring ability to generate further articulative responses. Because this ability can be produced by conditions of power, by genuine characteristics of the work, by historical accidents, or in any other number of other ways -- none of which are given priority -- and because articulative responses can include everything from refernces in coffee-table books to doctoral dissertations or further works of art, it seems an accurate description of what actually happens to works that have been granted special status by posterity. --Robert J. Belton in http://www.arts.ouc.bc.ca/fina/glossary/g_list.html#greatness
One of the more crucial conceptions of much postmodern is that things we used to take for granted as given -- things like nature and truth -- do not have objectively verifiable existence because they are nothing more than paradigms created, unwittingly or not, by broad, impersonal forces in society. For Foucauldians, these forces are determined by epistemes, habits of knowing peculiar to given social groups who have managed to suppress rival groups in practice and who continue to maintain power by instituting (see critique of institutions) symbolic mechanisms which masquerade as disinterested knowledge, but which are really systems intended to keep subjugated those peoples who are uninitiated or excluded. A British lecturer on photography from the University of Derby, John Roberts, defines power more succinctly as the viewer's right of reply, which thus invites comparison with Susanne Kappeler's critique of pornography. All sorts of things have been challenged as instances of this kind of power: academic standards like the traditional canon, certificates/diplomas/degrees, the "King's English," logic, and standards of pronunciation; and the general cultural attitudes described under the headings ageism, classism, homophobia, lookism, racism, sexism and so on. --Robert J. Belton in http://www.arts.ouc.bc.ca/fina/glossary/p_list.html#power
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