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José Ortega y Gasset (1883 - 1955)

Related: elitism - cultural pessimism - Spain

The Revolt of the Masses (1930/1932) - Jose Ortega Y Gasset [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

In this work, Ortega traces the genesis of the "mass-man" and analyzes his constitution en route to describing the rise to power and action of the masses in society. Ortega is throughout quite critical of both the masses and the mass-men of which they are concerned, contrasting "noble life and common life" and excoriating the barbarism and primitivism he sees in the mass-man. [Jan 2007]

The Dehumanization of art (1925) - Jose Ortega Y Gasset [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

La deshumanización del Arte e Ideas sobre la novela (The Dehumanization of art and Ideas about the Novel, 1925) is an essay by José Ortega y Gasset which argues against the importance of biographical details of an author and defends the text as text. Quite literally, the essay tries to take the human interest factor out of the artistic process, much like Clive Bell had previously done in Art (1914) and Barthes later did in Death of the Author (1968). [Jun 2006]


José Ortega y Gasset (May 9, 1883 - October 18, 1955) was a Spanish philosopher. He is known for his cultural pessimism and elite tastes.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Ortega_y_Gasset [Mar 2006]

The Revolt of the Masses (1930/1932) - Jose Ortega Y Gasset

See also: cultural pessisism - mass society - revolution

The Dehumanization of art (1925) - Jose Ortega Y Gasset

“to dehumanize art … to avoid living forms … to consider art as play and nothing else … to be essentially ironical … to regard art as a thing of no transcending consequence.”

Though The Dehumanization of Art was perfectly positioned to be the darling of the intellectuals—it was a university press paperback, it was by an author of a foreign name that Bobby Kennedy couldn’t pronounce, it was cheap, and it was short—I bought it because I assumed it would be a defense of art and an attack upon dehumanization. Why else would anyone have written a book called The Dehumanization of Art?

But I was shocked to discover that it was a spirited endorsement of the principles that I had expected it to condemn. In fact, it was in some ways the Gettysburg Address of Modernism: as an erudite and magnanimous capitulation of the old to the young, it seemed to the generation of 1968 to have been both wise and noble. --Against the dehumanization of art by Mark Helprin via http://www.newcriterion.com/archive/13/sept94/helprin.htm [Jun 2006]

See also: 1925 - authorial intentionality - José Ortega y Gasset - High Modernism - human - art

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