Kendall Walton's Mimesis as Make-Believe is the most significant event in Anglo-American aesthetics in many a year, and joins a small pantheon of landmark books such as Nelson Goodman's Languages of Art, Richard Wollheim's Art and Its Objects and Arthur Danto's Transfiguration of the Commonplace. Walton's aim is to provide a comprehensive account of the representational arts—literature, drama, cinema, painting, drawing, sculpture—from both the generative and the receptive points of view. That is to say, he attempts to explain how representations are fashioned, what their representational status consists in, how representations are apprehended and what the experience of them characteristically involves. Inthese aims he is to my mind enormously, if not completely, successful.
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