…As the chief curator and guide of the Imaginary Museum, Andre Malraux recalled Toynbee and Spengler. For one thing, he shares their infatuation with the past, their conviction that it can speak to us, that stones have tongues. For another, he shares their mental habit of imosing patterns on the universe. He, too, was obsessed with the contemporaneity of everything.
As Toynbee might compare certain aspects of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom to the modern American Middle West, Malraux could glory in placing a Buddhist statue of 500 B.C. alongside a late medieval crucific. As he wrote in La Metamorphose: “The art world’s hitherto known to mankind were exclusive, like religions; our art world is an Olympus where all the gods, all the civilizations, address themselves to all men who understand the language of art.”
From the heights of that Olympus, Malraux observed the works of man and produced in La Metamorphose a personal confession of aesthetic faith, which, by virtue of its style and its poetic vision, comes close to being itself a work of art.
(see link at end)…André Malraux was a major figure in French intellectual life in the twentieth century. A key component of his thought is his theory of art which presents a series of fundamental challenges to traditional explanations of the nature and purpose of art developed by post-Enlightenment aesthetics. For Malraux, art – whether visual art, literature or music – is much more than a locus of beauty or a source of “aesthetic pleasure”; it is one of the ways humanity defends itself against its fundamental sense of meaninglessness – one of the ways the “human adventure” is affirmed. … The study reveals that an account of art which Gombrich once dismissed as “sophisticated double-talk” is in reality a thoroughly coherent and highly enlightening system of thought, with revolutionary implications for the way we think about art. Read More:http://www.rodopi.nl/senj.asp?BookId=FAUX+341