Tolstoy uses the test of infectiousness, not only as a descriptive measure for what should count as art, but also as a standard for good art (#28-32). What does he mean by this standard?
Tolstoy uses the test of infectiousness as a standard for good art to prove that it is real art, instead of the counterfeit ones. “If a man is infected by the author’s condition of soul… then the object which has affected this is art”(#28), meaning that the more emotion the viewer has for an art, the more authentic the piece is.
How does he suggest we apply this test to evaluate art? Is this a useful proposal for evaluating the quality of art?
He suggests we apply this test to evaluate art by having a “clearness of expression”(#32) in the art, so the viewer would be more satisfied and more mingled with the author’s consciousness (32). This is a useful proposal for evaluating the quality of art because having a clear expression in art does not make the viewer be deceived with a hidden emotion, but shows all emotions of the author. It gives more spirit to the art if it is appreciated more that way
If you disagree with this proposal, how would you challenge it?
I do not disagree with Tolstoy’s proposal of how to authenticate an art. Art should have some sort of feeling to be appreciated. There is a movie called “Big Eyes” by Tim Burton set in the late 1950 to early 60s, and this lady’s art was so good. She made the eyes of her art bigger than they should, because she says you can see the emotions in the eyes. Add a little tear, with dark background, you feel sadness. Or a lollipop and a bright background, you feel enjoyment.