The Truth in Painting (La Vérité en peinture) is a book of essays by Jacques Derrida published in 1978. The title is taken from a sentence written by Cézanne . The book is divided into 4 parts: Parergon , text written from a seminar; + R and Cartouches , two articles, one on an exhibition by Valerio Adami , the other on Gérard Titus-Carmel ; Restitutions - from the truth in size a reflection on the aesthetics of Martin Heidegger , occasioned by the criticism of Meyer Schapiro about the Shoes ofVan Gogh that the German philosopher commented on in The Origin of the Work of Art .
The first part, Parergon , breaks down into 4 paragraphs:
In the first, entitled Lemmas , Derrida describes the Hegelian aesthetic which is part of the encyclopedia , the system of teacher training and the cycle of knowledge.
The second, entitled The Parergon , from a reading of the Preface to the Critique of Judgment of Kant , called Third critic , to release pleasure as irreducible element of reason in aesthetic judgment, Derrida puts tension with the detachment proper to judgment. If the judgment of the work of art rests primarily on the drawing and the composition, it is clear, writes Kant, that the ornaments add to the aesthetic pleasure. These ornaments, in Greek parerga , can be the frames of pictures, the clothing of statues or the columns around buildings (p. 62 in the pocket edition). Derrida brings this curious remark by Kant closer to the etymology of the wordparergon and some uses of it by Plato and Aristotle: philosophy is always built against the parergon , must not be misled in the parergon , the accessory. : "A parergon comes against, next to and in addition to the ergon , the work done, the fact, the work but it does not fall sideways, it touches and cooperates, from a certain outside, within the operation. Neither simply outside nor simply inside. Like an accessory that we have to accommodate on board, on board. He is first of all on board. »(P. 63) Kant uses the term a second time in a note of Religion within the limits of simple reason, to designate grace, as a supplement to reason, unlike dogmatic faith which claims to constitute knowledge. Each time, the parergon designates an exteriority which is at the same time a foundation, a kind of outside at the limit of the inside. For this reason, it is at the heart of the Kantian critical project, and at the same time it deconstructs it.
The 3rd , entitled Le sang de la coupure pure , opens with a quote from Ponge referring to cut tulips. Kant evokes the tulip in a passage from the Analytic of the Beautiful , as an example of meeting with a finality which does not relate to any end. The beautiful proceeds from this meeting. However, Kant also quotes a certain M. de Saussure (a very amusing name no doubt for Derrida), author of a Voyage dans les Alpes , where he evokes the wild tulip. Derrida analyzes the “endless finality” of beauty from the example of the tulip, very organized in its structure, everything has a finality, but without end, without end since it is cut.
The 4th , entitled The colossal , develops a theory of the sublime. Colossus and column have a common etymology. JP Vernant points out that the word colossus, in Greek, does not have a size value, that he took it by accident (p. 137). From there, Derrida undertakes to differentiate a column, which falls under the parergon (see chap. 2) and is thus articulated with the work, is measured against it, from colossus, which relates to the immeasurable. Kant uses the term Ungeheuer , enormous, immense, excessive, monstrous (p. 141), but Derrida points out that the colossal is not simply an ungeheuer object . : it is not an object, it is the presentation of a concept, which is almost too big . We can say it differently: it is the erection of the phallus insofar as it is not easy to apprehend. The column defines the beautiful (as a supplement of pleasure brought by the parergon ), while the colossus defines the sublime (as the presentation of an almost too big , of an erection). “From this definition, we understand that the sublime is less easily encountered than the beautiful in art, more easily in raw nature” (p. 146).