Sunday, September 18, 2022

The framing of the world and the generation of "aesthetic emotion" in W. Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage"

After hanging up a photograph with a "view of the Cathedral" near his boarding school, Philip Carey in W. Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage" begins to take "a new interest in" the lawns and trees "he saw from the window of the Fourth Form Room": "It gave him an odd feeling in his heart, and he did not know if it was pain or pleasure. It was the first dawn of the aesthetic emotion." The camera and the photograph made with it frame the image of the Cathedral, the window frames the view of the greenery outside, and such framing generates the uncertain feeling of an aesthetic response to the world. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 18 September 2022)

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