Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences

Reception of Literary Works and Issue of Aesthetic Education in Modern Society


Doan Duc Phuong*

Abstract: Art has a communication function. Each work or symbol of art is a very important tool of human communication. The process of human communication is not merely the process of using artwork or determining the historical fate of artwork, but also the acquisition of aesthetic ideals. Therefore, receiving literature and artworks is also the process of educating aesthetics for readers. Good literature works will facilitate the process of education of aesthetics for readers, whereas poor quality ones will counteract. The article studies the relationship between receiving literature and art and educating the aesthetics from theoretical and practical perspectives and thereby gives some recommendations for writers, readers and educators.

Keywords:  Literature and art, education of aesthetics, reception of literary works, modern Vietnamese readership.

Subject classification: Literature


1. Introduction

Besides producing material wealth to survive and grow, humans have very important production activities that produce spiritual wealth. Artistic literature is one of the forms of producing spiritual wealth. Understood strictly and adequately, artistic creation only accomplished one stage in a production process. It  is the  process  of completing the content of the work. If the artwork was a spiritual child,  then completing the content of the work would be just as if a child was born. Its life, its destiny depends on it, the society around it, and its recipients. Only when the artistic community receives the  artwork, the artistic creation  will be completed. An artwork that is made but not put to use has no benefit for life, and it has no value at all. A work of art that is finished but lies in a drawer of the author with no one to care about is not a true artwork. Because it is not used yet. Artworks have a communicative function and are important tools of human communication. The communication process of art is the process of presenting the artwork, which is the process of promoting the function of art. That process determines the way of living or the historical fate of the artwork.

2. New reception of literature and art

Reception is the activity of capturing information in the communication process. In literary and artistic communication from past to present, the relationship between the public and the artwork is often referred to by the words such as reading, watching, hearing, understanding, absorbing, enjoying, criticising. Literary and artistic activities are not merely creative production activities but also consumption and reception activities. These two activities are interrelated, define each other because only through the activity of the reader, viewer or receiver, i.e. the receptor or receiver, can work be transformed into an artwork.

Literature and art are created for the public. However, the fact is that the public receives it differently. The mode expressing the reception of traditional literature and art is best   manifested in the concept of receiving "soulmate" and "deposit".

The concept of a "soulmate" states that the task of receiving art is to feel and understand life as evoked in the work itself. According to a popular Chinese legend, Boya broke his  guitar  after  the death of Zhong Ziqi2, his soulmate. This story is the epitome of this concept. When there is no alter ego, who can understand the heart of the player, the sacred tones are no longer meaningful. This is a subjective type of reception that does not take into account the role of the public at large but only individuals who have a deep understanding of literature and art. This conception loses the social function of art, eliminating the ability of co-creation when receiving art documents.

The concept of "deposit" sees the work as  a  place  to  express the thoughts  and feelings of the reader, viewer or listener. The receiver discovers the aesthetic values of  the  work  within the control of the author's thoughts, based on subjective impressions of the work or the discovery of ideas that coincide with the author  and himself. The work is considered as a means of expressing the heart, thoughts, and emotions about the world, the pressing issues of life that they have not been able to say directly.

Thus, the traditional notion of reception of literature and art suggests that reception is the sympathy between the artist, the work and the public. The art document is invariable, and readers receive it as intended by the artist who creates the work, and it is that the soulmates are in the same situation and the “hearts” have the same rhythm.

Modern reception theory has new perceptions about the content of the written work. The text is not just a product of with a  single and constant meaning but has nearly endless content and multiple meanings. A representative of the Konstanz school, Hans Robert Jauss, claimed that a work contained both the text with a given structure and the reception of reader/watcher/listener [4]. Its meaning changes according to the social history of the reception, so it is not fixed, invariable but has the nature of dialogue. He proposed important concepts for the reception of literature and art. Acceptance is the "level of experience (experience of life), and experience of art (aesthetic  experience) have before of each reader/viewer/listener when exposed to the work". The acceptance is defined by the following norms: the first norm is familiar from the poetics of the genre; the second is from the hidden relationship under the familiar works of the art environment; the third is from the contradiction between fiction and reality, the poetic function and the practicality of artistic language that readers, viewers or listeners are able to compare. Aesthetic experience is associated with the experience of life and gives the reader "savoury knowledge". At the reception aspect, the aesthetic experience is seen capable of opening a level, breakthroughs of the future, reviving the past, or enhancing the ability to enjoy unrealistic imaginations of artworks. With Hans Robert Jauss, the study the process of aesthetic experience over great literary periods includes poesies (enjoying creative activities), aesthesis (the reception of experience), catharsis filtering (purification, communication achievement of experience). In aesthetic perception, the work transforms  our aesthetic experience, and  it  also  shows  us  a  new  meaning  in different readings. Aesthetic  distance is defined  as the distance between given acceptability, and the appearance of  the work changes the old acceptability of the reader. The change of acceptability is directly related to the negation of the old aesthetic experience of the reader and makes  the new aesthetic experience penetrate their sense of reception. In classical works, the change of acceptability must be repeated for the second time. That change allows the public to re-evaluate the work, redefining its viability. The aesthetic distance not only regulates the artistic characteristics  of  the  work  but  also  has become  the  standard  for  determining  the aesthetic value of the work itself. The fate of the work will depend on the attitude of accepting the new or the negation of the reader by the inertia of the aesthetic experiences that are verified by the readers.

In the view of literary  theory and modern art, an artistic text and artwork are two different concepts, and it is impossible to unite them. The author is the creator of the artistic text, but that is just a "waving texture"  (W.  Iser)  [13].  The  artwork  is formed only by reading, viewing and listening and it only really displays in the reception of art public. Thus, the reader, viewer or listener could be the subject of the whole process of turning the text into an artwork.

2.1. Motivation and sense of reception

The richness of life, the literature, the art of diversity, the motivation of readers, viewers or listeners is not the same; especially it is more different when looking at a specific work. However, it is possible to generalise the following aspects. Want to enjoy and embellish the aesthetic feelings: These are the most comprehensive and popular motive. Coming to  literary and artistic works, people want to grasp the beauty in the author’s soul, help expand and elevate their soul towards the perfect beauty, and know to stir the truth of times, the destiny of the country, and the fate of humanity. Want to open the mind: The majority of the public wants to understand the laws of history, the nature of society, the state of human life, and knowledge in many fields through literary and artistic works. Want to be more fostered in thought, ideas, morals: Human beings are always anxious to build a reason for living, a humane attitude so that they can be consistent throughout their life, or in the complex fluctuations, people often want to come up with literary and artistic works to find an answer from philosophy to ordinary virtue. Want to learn experience: This is the experience of art and experience of living which is necessary for the public, especially for young artists.

In daily life, people often experience different moods, different colours, and it is not only when being excited; they contact with literature and art. The mind of a reader, viewer or listener, therefore, is very complex. However, it can be generalised into three primary statuses: amusement, inhibition and retreat. Amusement is the state of the spirit of excitement. Inhibition is the mood  of  sadness. The  retreat  is  the  mind being relaxed, natural in the heart, ideally suited  to  read,  watch  or  listen.  However, there is no  absolute  state  of  retreat. The change in the mood during reading, viewing or listening is not only to the state of retreat but also to the state of joy and inhibition unless the work is tasteless.

2.2. Characteristics, nature of the reception

The artwork is a specific cognitive object because it is a special mental product. To take  over  and  to  receive  it,  one  can  not utilise  general  cognitive  capabilities  but requires specific abilities through an aesthetic image. This is a higher cognitive development  than  cognitive  activities  by reasoning.  Every  artwork  is  intended  to convey aesthetic sentiments, the artist sends the  reader,  viewer  or  listener  the  most intense emotion of life, the human being in the light of an aesthetic ideal. To receive art is to learn the aesthetic feelings, aesthetic ideals by aesthetic icons through the language system art.

Unlike receiving science, artistic reception has a broad public. The broad democratic nature of the reception draws on the diverse aspects of the work. People, of all ages, of all sexes, of all occupations, of all classes, can receive literature and art and receive it in their way. Thus, in each reader, viewer or listener there will be an image that will not coincide with the image of the work and also does not coincide with the image that other people receive. The decision on the diversity and multifaceted nature of art from the receiving side is due to age and emotional personality, aesthetic views, different aesthetic tastes; also due to the level of education, social status, class composition, the capacity of each person...

Reception of literature and art is an objective social-historical activity. The work, after being separated from the creator, becomes a spiritual phenomenon, a spiritual object that exists objectively. Reception of art is subjective and personal, it is closely tied to the feelings and tastes of each recipient, and therefore they may like, enjoy this character, that character and vice versa. Literary reception is deeply personal, but  it  has  never  been  isolated  from  the social-historical condition. Artistic activity is  always  a  strong  social  activity.  Social orientation and real life will dominate the reception  of  literature  and  art  of  each individual. Each individual, when receiving (i.e. reading/listening to/viewing) the work, gives it not only the "me" but also the "we" (studying it from the perspective of not only himself but also a group/class he belongs to). He interprets the work on the basis of his class position and social benefits.

Receiving literature and art is not a passive  activity. Being proactive, taking initiative, and the creativity of the reader, viewer or listener are expressed in the fact that, with their  personal  ability,  personal experience, aesthetic tastes, and social stance, they access the work, revive the image, restore what  has been vague (i.e. making what has been vague clear), showing the "submerged part of the iceberg", the hidden part the image system...; thus, they  penetrate the depth of the work, recognise  the  generalised  meaning  of  the image. Each reader, viewer or listener will have his or her art form, who is involved in the process of creating the meaning of the work. Therefore, the meaning of the work is not a constant but a variable.

2.3. Evolutions, effective reception

The reception process is the process where the reader, viewer or listener transfers the "first text" of the author into “second text” of his self, the work of art translates from the "thing itself" into "thing for ourselves". This process takes place at many different levels - first, cognition, repetition and reproduction. Artistic recipients read texts; see visuals, shapes, lines, acting; listen to sounds,  melodies;  and  begin  to  imagine, feel about life and people in their way. Each person has a different result.

"One thousand readers will create a thousand Hamlets," as the Westerner often say. Compared with the work, the subject of the reception may change in another way. Any successful artwork is full of emotions such as all kinds of fun, sadness, or anger. Of course, there will be a dominant sentimental state. However, the reader, viewer or listener only likes and remembers the emotional states that fit with his or her daily emotion. We know  many ways of analysing Hamlet's procrastination, various explanations of the "mystical,  confusing" smile in Mona Lisa's painting. There may be the right explanation, but  it  is  also possible to mislead the intent of the author. Artists often do not provide that description.  The  image  that  they  knit  so lively is multi-faceted. On the other hand, the reader, viewer or listener can discover aspects that the author does not think of. The  work  must  speak  out  what  would compel the public to think and understand, and after that, they would  feel  that  what they  have  received  is eye-opening  and interesting. This is not and shall  not  be, either, something that is too complicated to understand, or something that, when  one has tried to understand  and later understood, one finds it overexpressed, empty and  tasteless.  The  work  shall  be attractive but understandable, and be understandable but also, at the same time, attractive - That is the dialectical view in the quality of the work, as seen the receiving side, i.e. the reader/listener/viewer.

The  first  reception  effect  is  empathy. Empathy, in the broadest meaning, is the similar or close emotion of the subject of receiving  in  different  classes,  races,  and ages  for  the  same  work.  However,  here, only the emotions of the reader, viewer or listener  of  the  thoughts,  emotions,  ideals and aspirations are revealed through the fate of the character or love in the work making them love or hate what the authors loves or hates. Receiving the work, the recipient is transferred from having empathy (with what is expressed in the content) to being purified (i.e. getting better thanks to what he  has  received/perceived).  That  is  the result of his penetration into the world of the artwork, and, being profoundly moved, the  soul  is  harmonised  and  gets  more purified. The purification has two aspects that are blended with each other, which can still be distinguished as follows: one is the psychological harmony and re-balance based on the aesthetic power of the work; the other is the expansion and elevation of the soul and personality by the emotional morality  of  the  work.  On  the  basis  of empathy  and  purification,  if  the  reader, viewer  or  listener  continues  to  ponder, associate the truth of the work, relate to the human  and,  suddenly  realises  a  certain aspect of philosophy, that is the recognition. People always find new aspects of the work in terms of the height  of  knowledge, passionate love for beauty,  passion  and vibrancy with literature and art.

3. Contemporary art audience

3.1. The role

The decisive factor of the reader, viewer or listener of the literary and artistic process is that  without  them  there  is  no  creative process. Art is a form of communication. It was  born to  meet  the  needs  of  exchange between the composer and the receiver, but first  of  all  to  satisfy  the  self-expression needs of the composer. The recipient at this time  will  be  where  the  author's  heart  is. Here the reader, viewer or listener becomes the  author’s  servant;  in  turn,  the  author becomes a public servant. This is an important goal  of  artistic  creation.  Art  serves  the recipient in two aspects: One is to satisfy their artistic needs. The second is to train them to enjoy art. Then, they demand that the artists will not be self-satisfied but have to develop the artists themselves. This is a spiral-shaped development.

The intrinsic structure of the work, with its  multi-tone, multi-sense  of  reflection, generalised life and reflective material, has created an objective dimension of art history.  Moreover,  the  reader,  viewer  or speaker creates the subjective aspect of the historical life of the artwork. It is the dynamic, creative role of the receiver that makes the art history more rich and lively. Of  course, the reader, viewer or listener does not co-create with the author but is an internal element of the composition. For the artistic creation, he is the same as the consumer in the manufacturing work. As a requirement, a need, the consumption itself, is an intrinsic element of labour production. Consumers are the target of production, the reader, viewer or listener is  the target  of artistic creation. It is the need of the receiver, the consumer, the user of literature, the art is the decisive factor for the  artistic  process. The  receiver  appears before the author under a question system: Whom to write for? Write for what? How to write? The art’s receiver demands, waits and criticises the composer. The  author works to meet the requirements of the recipient and they, therefore, create a direct relationship with each other.

3.2. Type, characteristics

However,  who  is  the  receiver  of  art  and literature? The public art geometry is divided into different categories. Standing on  the  receiving  side,  people  divide  the receiver  into  four  categories.  The  first  is simply consumers, who often accept art in idle time, find entertainment, and have an easy assessment. The second is the type of those who seek information, usually conscious of seeking literature and art for new  information  about  life  or  ethics  to inform the people they care about. The third is the professional who teaches, studies and criticises literature and art.  Fourthly, authors, often take on sudden inspiration or to write in an improvised way. Standing at the  composition  side,  people  divided  the readers  or  listeners  into  three  categories. The  first  is  the  real  receiver,  i.  e.  the recipients  of  the  composition  exist  in  a concrete, individual  way. They could be someone named A or B, for instance in real life, receiving literature and art  by personality. Thus, in the eyes of the composer, there are a lot of different audiences in reality. However, artists do not compose to meet specific people but write to their audience in general. The second is the hypothetical receiver. This is the type of receiver of each author, which exists in the author throughout the writing process from the beginning of the intention until the end. Authors are intended to write primarily for them. The  third  is  the  invisible  receiver, which  often  exists  within  the  work  as  a character  who always confronts and interacts with the author but not the character, it is the embodiment of the receiver outside the   work.   From   the perspective   of   time,   people   divide   the reader, viewer or listener into three categories. The first is the current recipient, who is living with the author at the same time,  who  actually  receives  the  author's work and praises the author directly. The second  is  the  receiver  in  the  past,  they cannot  and  will  never accept the work; however, sometimes they decide the success  of  the  work.  Third,  the  future recipients, they do not actually exist, do not actually read the work but still appear in the process of the author’s creating, and sometimes it is the purpose of the writer.

Literary and artistic life is created by the synthesis between the process of creation and  reception. These  two  processes  are cohesive, interactive and act as two sides of a paper. Without any them, no literature or art would be created. Receiving art is not a passive activity. It is also a creative activity that  is  as  important  as  the  composition itself,  so  the  reader,  viewer  or  listener needs  the  same  effort  as  the  composer during the reception.

3.3. Diversity

Before the “đổi mới” or renovation, in the war, the public of literature and art was seen in a more political perspective. There were ideals, aspirations of people's collective mastery, creative labour, heroes in the great revolution of the nation... All that does not fully reflect the nature of the public as individuals who have diverse spiritual lives, personalities, thoughts, and. After the renovation, Human beings were and are seen more holistically, in  which there  is a problem of receiving  literature and  art. One of the causes of change in public aesthetics after the renovation is that the specific person now has a different life than the daily worries of life. The public of literature  and  art  today  has  made  a  shift towards more specific human values, including the ones we have not previously mentioned, not  only in  consciousness  but also in the depths of their unconsciousness. A large part of the public is looking for works of art towards the reverse of society, the suffering, the loss of the war, the social sorrows, etc. Changed  tastes mean that concept of value changed; talking about the evil, the bad side of society is also about the building of new good values.

In recent years, life, quality and role of literature  and  art  have  shown  signs  of decline. This is due to some reasons, including the creative ability of the authors. Another equally important reason is that the public’s ability of receiving art is declining. For the general public, there are very few people who love literature and art. Literature publications  such  as  poetry  books, short stories and journals of the Central and local literary associations have been printed a lot (though some publications are bad, many publications are  acknowledged with high quality in both content and form), but few people care and take the time to read them. Not many people come to enjoy art performances (stage, film, painting, music...).  The public is indifferent to literature and art for a variety of reasons, such as the mass media, due to the pace of a modern society that has devalued their time, due to the birth and development of various types of entertainment… However, the most direct and decisive factor is their ability to sense much less than previous generations. They can not feel the emotions of a poem, a story, a play... So, the products cannot attract them, and they are indifferent, alienated, even turned away from literature and art... Of course, it should not be blamed entirely on the public. It must be said that, on the creative side, we are becoming less and less  stylish. True  talents  and outstanding works, making a great resounding in the literary and artistic life, are not very often found. With the role and the mind of the creators, artists have to look straight ahead and adjust their work processes to improve this situation.

It is noteworthy that the emergence and development of online literature have contributed to the diversity of the contemporary literary landscape. It is not possible to see all the works published on the  internet  as  immature  literature,  but works printed on paper can be called true literature. The work’s existence depends on the recipient. If the work is valued in terms of content and art, whether it is published online or in books that are read by readers. The problem is that online literature creates the interaction between the writer and the reader, eliminates the limits, allows the creator to experiment, reveals the viewpoints, so, online literature space is not a completely  reliable  place. In the age of technology, people just bring a computer or phone with internet support on the train or in the car and can surf the web at any time. Nowadays,  nearly  all  information can be searched  with  Google.  Vietnamese  online literature has been developing for more than ten years. Writers and readers are content to express their creativity. Even famous Vietnamese poets and writers stepped into this playground. They bring their products to  the  internet  community  through  two forms:  posting  articles already  printed  in books and posting articles before printed in books through blogs, personal websites. So, how should readers make choices and selections when reading online literature? The fact is that, if social networks develop, young writers will appear, and, at the same time,  they  create  lively  space  for  online readers. Each literary text itself is an open, unfinished text. If paper literature (printed on paper) or electronic literature places the reader in a "paper" position, that is, in the passive  spirit,  the  net  literature  brings  a level of equality between the author and the reader. The author can add or subtract space at any time. The reader is free to comment. Creating a democratic interaction between the author and the reader, online literature forces the author to strive to produce good works constantly, and the readers must be cautious of simple, poor works. Based on the views, the number of likes and comments for each work, one can see that young people are more or less interested in literature. Positive or negative comments, on the one hand, express themselves in the sense of reading and receiving the work, on the other hand, create a direct dialogue between environment, democracy, equality, and help the writer to edit and perfect his work.

Not  only is the  internet  community interested in contemporary literary life but it  is  also  interested  in  classics,  famous names... through free online book sites or mainstream e-books. Electronic books versus paper books have many advantages, especially compactness. Readers can customise the font, font size,  colour...  to facilitate reading. Just type the name of the work  you  want  to  read,  the  e-book  will satisfy  your  taste.  You  can  download  or read online. Thus, most young readers often choose  the  internet  as  a  bridge  to  reach literature. At one point, online literature has positively shaped reading for young people. The emergence of online literature proves that reading culture of young people is not completely forgotten.

Online literature puts  young readers at the  centre  of  the  novel,  and  it  also  has implications. The generation of  "ten fingers"  quickly  adapted  to  the  purchase and  sale,  online  exchanges  to  save  time, effort and reduce the cost of searching for books.  Just  hit  the  keys,  click,  and  all information  to  look  up,  to  exploit  are available.  However,  if  reading  a  book, readers focus, dedicated to participating in the work, permeate each letter Netizens, in addition to reading, can also listen to music, surf on Facebook, or even watch a movie. Sensitive, instant, easy, but dominated by the online environment, young readers have difficulties in exploiting the beauty of words of the work. On the other hand, if readers want to look for information, no one will guarantee the reliability, accuracy from the social network.

Because online literature is unfinished, its free nature allows the creators to be not responsible for the products written by themselves. That situation puts the reader ahead of countless challenges in receiving. However, at present, not all readers take the work seriously. Many readers consider reading as entertainment, psychological satisfaction, personal interests. The heat of the  love  story with young readers is an example. Before the trend of love stories, more than ever, young people need serious attitudes and skills in reading. To receive in the spirit of co-creation, have a comprehensive vision, objective attitude to filter waste, select authentic artwork, ready to exclude, boycott the superficial products, no value in terms of content and art among a variety of books.

The culture of argument is also an aspect of  cultural  expression. The freedom of online literature not only creates free space for writers but also creates a democratic space for the  reader. On social network sites, many commentaries express serious, civilised debates, but there is no shortage of debate as a melee, with the tendency to attack and personalise. Anonymously hidden by the name, the reader tosses out the trick, sometimes extremely uncultivated. When praising, they praise to the highest level. And when criticising, they criticise as if no one can be worse than those criticised. If not being awake, but hurried and following the feeling and the crowd, readers will find it difficult to distinguish the true values of the work. With online literature, each reader should promote the initiative, high responsibility in front of our speeches. Online literature contains enormous amounts of  information.  The  problem  is, each reader must find a method to read in the best way.

4. The issue of education of aesthetics for the public through art reception

4.1. Concept

Education of aesthetics is considered to be a particular type of education that corresponds to other types of education and is responsible for developing a specific capacity in the human body: aesthetic capacity. As such, education of aesthetics is an integral part of  the social education system, which is responsible for education for the full development  of the human person. Education of aesthetics, in a broad sense, is the formation of a culture of aesthetics. This means that not only the specific  aesthetic activities but also the activities outside the aesthetic must be humane, must contribute to perfecting the human. Education of aesthetics is education and self-education, promoting all the capacity of human nature according to the beauty rules. Therefore, education of aesthetics plays a very important role in the development of human beings, and it contributes to the orientation of the moral and personality of the individual in society. The issue of education of aesthetics involves a series of concepts such as aesthetic sense, aesthetic sentiment, aesthetic tastes, and aesthetic ideal.

Aesthetic sense is a reflection of reality on human consciousness in relation to the need to  enjoy and  create  beauty.  One  form  of activity to enjoy and create beauty is art as the  highest  expression  of  aesthetic  sense. Thus  aesthetic  sense  is  the  capacity  of perception of beauty, but the beauty here is the  beauty  associated  with  reality,  with human life.

Aesthetic feeling (aesthetic sentiment) is a special form of emotion, a component of the human emotional system that arises in the creation and enjoyment of beauty, which is a  special  reflection  of  reality, unique in human consciousness, embracing morality, emotions and aesthetics of people.

Aesthetic taste is the level and interest in the field of aesthetics. In essence, aesthetic taste is always a harmonious union between emotion and reason on the basis of a certain aesthetic ideal. This is the activity bearing the individual of the subject, associated with  the  subjective  mental  capacity,  with love,  interest, and the ability to feel the beauty of each person. Aesthetic ideals are considered the highest form of aesthetic consciousness; they embody both the elements of affection, tastes and the elements of reason, knowledge, and concept. More specifically, it is the goal, the aspiration towards truthfulness, compassion, and beauty, the unity between the symbol and the  concept of beauty in the relationship between people, people with society and people with art.

4.2. Some features about modern Vietnamese readership

In the process of transition to a market economy, Vietnamese people have been more dynamic. Each individual is self- adjusting to be more suitable with the new mechanisms, which stimulates  the dynamics  of  each  individual,  creating  a society   with   creative   moves. However, sometimes things are overdone, leading to a competition of getting rich at all costs which can itself lead to brutality in people’s calculations, a poor quality, an emptiness of the soul and, therefore, can destroy cultural values, especially within the culture of aesthetics. In some parts of the society, there are people now oriented  towards pragmatic personal interests, indifferent to the ideal of the social-political sphere. Their demands and tastes in life show the mentality of a consumer society. In addition to that, many young people forget the true beauty of art in the traditional ethical values to  absorb  the  so-called  "exotic  culture", "exotic aesthetic" to create tastes for himself. Remarkably, the people after the renovation are on the way to find their true nature. In this regard, a changed perception, as well as changed views on values, lead to altered aesthetic tastes. In the creation and reception of literature and  art, this transformation is more clearly  expressed. The  creator's  tastes  are  in  line  with  the public's  aesthetic  tastes  towards  a  more fulfilling life for human beings. They find for themselves a new aesthetic after the turmoil of the war and the post-war flush, or more correctly, they have the opportunity to return to themselves. Finding yourself in the sense of a whole person is  a turning point, which contains human values.

According to the sociological studies of art, the changing aesthetic tastes of the public in terms of themes, topics are expressed quite specifically. The results of a random survey with 636 participants in Hanoi  showed that 65.9% of the respondents chose the topic of marriage or love for reading, viewing or listening. The following topics also demonstrate a shift in aesthetic tastes:  war (37.1%),  rural  life (37%), history (31.9%),  criminal and detective stories (31%). So, the main topics of literature and art during the war and pre- renovation periods have given way to the topics of love, marriage  and  other  topics that are less likely to be presented in the previous period. Works aimed at high ideological value and human nature attracted 69.1% of participants surveyed. Subsequently, works of artistic interest also attracted up to 50.2% of the public. Other topics such as spirituality, unconsciousness attracted 41.3%, and satire 38.8%.  It is worth noting that among these surveys, sexual themes only attracted 14.3% [12, pp.61-62].

The art community after the renovation has many differences compared to the time of the war and pre-renovation. They show a different mental mechanism, another motive towards new, intangible, and closer values with human life. With the transference in the receiving mind, we realise that the value of humanity is highly honoured,  the  value  of  thought  and  art attaches to the destiny of literature and has been paid attention. The reader, viewer or listener becomes the decider of the work. Therefore, the change in the receptionist's mind and the aesthetic taste of the public is an  important  aspect for us to realise the direction of the  development  of literature and art.

5. Conclusion

Along with the development of society, education of aesthetics  plays a more and more important role. Literature and art play an important role in fostering the soul, and the public's aesthetic and vice versa - the aesthetic   standard of the  public will promote literary and artistic development. Education  of  aesthetics  will  contribute  to building a good human  society  towards truth - goodness - beauty. Education of aesthetics is also the formation of a culture of aesthetics; this means that not only the specific aesthetic activities but also  the activities  outside the aesthetic must be humane, must contribute to perfecting the human. Education of aesthetics gives the criteria of beauty and, more  importantly, also helps people recognise beautiful values, from which people look more optimistic towards  life. The  formation  of aesthetic consciousness is educated through many stages: from childhood to school life. To educate the aesthetic consciousness, many flexible forms should be combined. Education of aesthetics requires the development of both  breadth  and  depth, both content and form.

During the renovation period, the development of the market economy more or  less  influenced  morality  and  lifestyle, especially  for  the  younger  generation.  In front of the toxic, reactionary culture, many young people did not give themselves the ability to resist effectively. On the contrary, it is receptive, not selective. Some also have deviant  views, follow   the low tastes, pragmatic lifestyle, and are too individual and selfish, despite the cultural values of the nation. At present, the explosion of information and the expansion of international cultural exchanges have greatly influenced  aesthetic awareness, especially for the young. Besides the good, beauty also inherits many bad, antipathetic aspects.  Without  good  education of aesthetics, it is easy to absorb the bad, the opposite of the novel. Beauty is associated with the soul, culture, and fine customs of the   nation.  Away from that, aesthetic perception  is deflected, polluting the cultural environment. Education of aesthetics  is  fostering  the  desire  to  bring beauty into life, to form in human the capacity  to  sense,  enjoy,  evaluate, create and operate  according to the criteria of beauty. Thus, the education of aesthetics is very important and contributes to orienting and fostering human behaviour of culture, morality, and a beautiful personality.

The purpose of literature and art is not only to give people moments of comfort but also  to  give  them  spiritual  aesthetics,  a sense of freedom, loftiness and the energy to  rise  in  life.  Through  receiving  arts, education  of  aesthetics  for  the  public  is mainly reflected in the following contents:

-  Educating the correct scientific and progressive views of aesthetics.

-  Educating the ability to absorb, evaluate and create art.

-  Educating the clear and beautiful aesthetic emotions based on the fundamental criteria of truth - goodness - beauty.

-  Educating healthy tastes in addressing the relationship between personal and social tastes.

-  Educating the true aesthetics and genuine social ideals.

-  Developing  social  relations through the education of politics, thoughts and morals in love, friendship,  companionship, comradeship, the individual - the collective - the nation - the Fatherland relationship.

So when the negative side of the market economy is adversely affecting the positive aesthetic  tastes, the culture of aesthetics, with its function of cultivating the subtlety and sensitivity of emotional  power, helps people  "find  themselves" (i.e. their  good selfs/egos which have been lost) in the fine feelings towards  beauty, preventing  the attitude  of  being  aesthetically  indifferent, which  is  often  found  nowadays  in  the society. Aesthetic sense of the human being must be the spiritual foundation of society as it regulates and influences the fostering and promoting of the human factor, and the formation and development of the personality of full harmony in them.



* University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi.

1 The paper was edited by Etienne Mahler.

2  Boya and Zhong Ziqi are soulmates in the ancient history of China. Only Zhong Ziqi can understand the guitar’s sound of Boya. Therefore, when Zhong Ziqi died, Boya also broke the guitar.



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