“I do not disbelieve in absolute beauty any more than I disbelieve in absolute truth. On the contrary, I gladly suppose that the proposition – this object must be either beautiful or not beautiful – is absolutely true. Only, can we recognise it? Certainly, at moments we believe we can… Every now and then the beauty, the bald miracle, the ‘significant’ form… of a picture, a poem, or a piece of music, springs from an unexpected quarter and lays us flat… When we have picked ourselves up we begin to suppose that such a state of mind must have been caused by something of which the… value was absolute. ‘This,’ we say, ‘is absolute beauty’. Perhaps it is”

– Clive Bell, Art

“Poetry and philosophy… have severed themselves from life. In Greece, ideas went hand in hand with life; so that the artist’s life was already a poetic realization, the philosopher’s life a putting into action of his philosophy; in this way, both philosophy and poetry took part in life, instead of remaining unacquainted with each other, philosophy provided food for poetry, and poetry gave expression to philosophy. Nowadays beauty no longer acts; action no longer desires to be beautiful; and wisdom works in a sphere apart.”

– André Gide, The Immoralist

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
Y know on Earth, and all ye need to know”

– John Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn

Advertisements