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Avenues to Beauty: Eight Essays in Aesthetics

S.K. Saxena (Author)
Synopsis This book may well be expected to interest one and all, if only because of the diversity of its content and the way it has been presented.

It has something of value for lovers of both contemporary and traditional thinking on the arts. Essays on "Aesthetics Today", "The Quest for Key Aesthetic Concepts" and "The Aesthetic Attitude" relate explicitly to present-day aesthetics; and the one on "Rasa Theory" may well be able to provide some new insights to those who are not averse to looking anew at this impressive foray of traditional Indian thinkers into the region of aesthetics.

However, the essay which is most likely to draw and hold readers' attention because of the tantalizing appearance, so to say, of its very subject is the one on "Music and Silence". Very few aestheticians have written on it so far; and nowhere, except in this book, is the reference all along to Hindustani music. Nor has our rhythm ever been written on in the way it appears in this book, in terms of the following essays: "Hindustani Rhythm and Aesthetic Theory" and "Hindustani Rhythm and an Aesthetical Issue".

As for the essay on Attenborough's classic film Gandhi, it may well make readers realize, in happy wonderment, how much they failed to mark when they saw it. Indeed, there is no reason why analytic writing on art should not make us ever more sensitive to the numberless creative devices it employs with delightful effect.
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About the author

S.K. Saxena

Two particular years, quite wide apart, are special in Dr. Sushil Kumar Saxena's career as an author: 1967 and 2009. The first saw the appearance of his book Studies in the Metaphysics of Bradley, in the prestigious Muirhead Library series of philosophical works (George Allen and Unwin, London; and Humanities Press, New York); and the second may be said to herald the dawn of a quite new discipline, a truly contemporary aesthetics of Hindustani Music – through his pioneering work Hindustani Music and Aesthetics Today, brought out jointly by Sangeet Natak Akademy and Hope India Publications.

After his retirement (in 1986) as a Professor from the University of Delhi, Dr. Saxena (b. 1921) has published five more books on Hindustani music, rhythm and Kathak dance; and one that bestpeaks his deep interest in philosophy of religion, namely, Ever Unto God: Essays on Gandhi and Religion (Indian Council of Philosophical Research, 1988).

Dr. Saxena has received several honours, the latest among them being the Padma Bhushan and a Fellowship from Sangeet Natak Akademi, both in 2008.

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Bibliographic information

Title Avenues to Beauty: Eight Essays in Aesthetics
Author S.K. Saxena
Format Hardcover
Date published: 07.10.2009
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 8124605335, 9788124605332
length x+243p., Bibliography; Index; 22cm.