A Cherishing Bureaucracy

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Irish literary critic Denis Donoghue gives the fourth Reith lecture in his series entitled 'The Mystery of Art'. The current Henry James Professor of English and American Letters at New York University explores how critics influence perception of art.

In this lecture entitled 'A Cherishing Bureaucracy', Denis Donoghue identifies how the state has created a pluralist and populist approach to art. He believes that every piece of art can be enjoyed because they are sanctioned by the state. Art has become easily comprehendible and this understanding has lead to the death of mystery in art. He argues how the very act of naming pieces of art takes away peoples hesitancy; and without this hesitancy, the mystery art is lost.

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30 minutes

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Wed 1 Dec 1982 09:00

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Dame Hilary Mantel will deliver the BBC Reith Lectures in spring 2017

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Reflecting on the writer whose work includes short stories and historical fiction.