Liang Xu


Sianne Ngai, who has theorized the interesting as an aesthetic category, is one of the representatives of new aesthetics that has emerged within the last two decades. What is new about new aesthetics? How does it deal with its relationship with traditional philosophical aesthetics? How can it bring aesthetics back to life after “theory”? Sianne Ngai's theorization and allegory of the category of “the interesting” is a good example. The interesting suspends aesthetic judgment in the beginning and then turns it into an extended narrative, persuading the audience to participate, unfold and accept it, and finally completing the aesthetic judgment. This gives a practical way to the universal validity of Kant's aesthetic judgment and prevents the metaphysical construction of categories aimed at definitions. The practice is also a model for the transformation of narrativization in other aesthetic categories. However, Ngai's oscillation between the two theoretical positions also creates a peculiar dilemma for her and undermines the legitimacy of new aesthetics, which deserves deep consideration.


new aesthetics;the interesting;aesthetic category;Sianne Ngai

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