Flaubert's Esthetics and the Problem of Knowledge


Gustave Flaubert never wrote a treatise on aesthetics, but his correspondence is studded with his remarks on art. Central to these remarks is the relationship between art and knowledge. Although firmly anchored in the tradition of philosophical skepticism, Flaubert believed that art could be a vehicle for truth. The artist must begin with observation, then extrapolate from his data to create a coherent, logical whole. Just as science is a construct, so too is art. In both domains, the combination of observation and imagination leads to truth; omission of either quality will produce a flawed work of art. (EFG)

Gray, Eugene F
Release Year:
1976 Spring; 4(3): 295-302.