TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT May 1978

Letters

Letters

To the Editor:

I wonder if the Messrs. Dorfman (“Reaffirming Painting: A Critique of Structuralist Criticism,” Artforum, October 1977) ever heard the story of the philosopher Thales who fell down a well while gazing at the starry firmament. Not that star-gazing is an unacceptable occupation but that one ought to tread carefully while doing so—especially artists who play in philosophy’s backyard.

If phenomenologists suggest that we begin our task by facing up to direct experience, then why allow a mountain of rationalist theories to be unloaded between us and the painting? Why is it so difficult for critics to deliver the goods of experience without recourse to shelves of philosophic texts? Even so, would Kant have agreed with Greenberg? Would Saussure and Lévi-Strauss have agreed with Burnham? Would Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre have agreed with the Dorfmans? What we end up with are three

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