Publication details [#5985]

Holly, Michael Ann. 2007. Interventions: The author replies. 5 pp.


The art historian Michael Ann Holly discusses responses by the historians Stephen Melville, Hayden White, Karen Land and Stephen Bann, to her essay 'The Melancholic Art', in which she argued that the discipline of art history is marked by melancholy. She describes Lang's evaluation of a painting by April Gornik in relation to Walter Benjamin's notion of the aura, considers Melville's use of the metaphor of remarriage in terms of the relationship between tradition and modernity, and examines Bann's interest in countering the role of melancholy in the experience of art. She suggests that the sense of separation created by writing enhances the effect of the aura, studies White's theories on history, and highlights Lang's view that there is a distance between the contemporary and modernity. She quotes White's comments on alienation in art history, notes that whilst some art historians question the role of melancholy in the discipline, the subject of melancholy has attracted interest in other fields, and concludes by outlining the nature of contradiction in melancholy, the ability of writing to convey presence, and the role of melancholy in poetry. (LLBA, Accession Number 00512344, (c) CSA [2008]. All rights reserved.)