Title and Author: Emma by Wendy Kesselman
Field of Philosophy: Aesthetics
Plot Summary: Emma, who is seventy-two years old, lives alone with her cat and is sometimes is “very lonely.” For her birthday, Emma’s family gives her a painting of her childhood village, and Emma thinks to herself that the painting really doesn’t resemble her memories of her village. She begins painting her village as she remembers it, and goes on to paint many other paintings, which surround Emma with the “friends and places she loved.”
Some discussion questions:
Does Emma’s artistic inspiration come from inside her?
What role does memory play in art?
Is the way each of us sees the world unique?
Are we then all artists, or does being an artist require some expression of our perspective?
Can expressing ourselves through art change the way we feel about ourselves?
What is the relationship between our feelings and our aesthetic experiences?