For the Love of Art

Peter Dayan

Selected Essays 10


20 October 2022  •  230pp

ISBN: 978-1-781884-76-8 (hardback)  •  RRP £85, $115, €99

ISBN: 978-1-781884-80-5 (paperback, forthcoming)

ISBN: 978-1-781884-84-3 (JSTOR ebook)

Access online: Books@JSTOR


How do we decide what to value as music, or as poetry, or as art? For at least a century, since we were first told that noise might be music, and since Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Kurt Schwitters, and Marcel Duchamp began to stick found objects in art galleries, critics have been increasingly suspicious of this question. The essays in this volume show, however, that an indirect but unexpectedly powerful answer is given by the very writers, composers and painters who are generally thought to have turned art into an infinitely problematic category. Art in each medium quietly tells us that it has a hidden source in another medium. Poetry is, in an arcane way, really music, or it is dance, or it is visual; music is (equally arcanely) poetry, or dance, or visual art; and so on. Each art draws its strength from roots that pass through an unknowable space between the arts.

Peter Dayan is Professor of Word and Music Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Music Writing Literature, Art as Music, Music as Poetry, Poetry as Art, and The Music of Dada. In these essays, he charts the intermedial source of art as we know and love it. His investigations open up the nature of creativity, and reveal how we maintain our faith in the arts.


  • ‘Rich and powerful discussions, bursting with invention and life. This is a formidably clever sequence of essays in which major writers and musicians are set in contrast and dialogue with each other.’ — John Batchelor, Modern Language Review 119.2, 2024, 181-88 (full text online)

For a contents listing, see this volume at JSTOR.

Bibliography entry:

Dayan, Peter, For the Love of Art, Selected Essays, 10 (Legenda, 2022)

First footnote reference: 35 For the Love of Art, peter Dayan, Selected Essays, 10 (Legenda, 2022), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Dayan, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Dayan, Peter. 2022. For the Love of Art, Selected Essays, 10 (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Dayan 2022: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Dayan 2022: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

This title is distributed on behalf of MHRA by Ingram’s. Booksellers and libraries can order direct from Ingram by setting up a free ipage® Account: click here for more.

Permanent link to this title: