15 Things to Think About [447 words]

One day perhaps someone will put on a play in which we shall see a resurrection of those costumes in which our fathers found themselves every bit as fascinating as we do ourselves in our poor garments. And then if they are worn and given life by intelligent actors and actresses we shall be astonished of ever having been able to mock them so stupidly. Without losing anything of its ghostly attraction, the past will recover the light and movement of life and will become present.

Even in those centuries, which seem to us the most monstrous and the maddest the immortal thirst for beauty has always found its satisfaction.

Beauty is made up of an eternal, invariable element, whose quantity is excessively difficult to determine, and at a relative, circumstantial element, which will be, if you like whether severally or all at once, the age, its fashion, its morals, its emotions.

It is all about the work. Names draw too much past history.

Understand that the word “artist” in a very restricted sense and “man of the world” in a very broad one.

Modernism: two definitive terms: an oppositional spirit and a totalizing vision.

We must look at the world through the eyes of a child in order to fully appreciate all its beauty.

To extract from fashion whatever element it may contain of poetry within history, to distil the eternal from the transitory. That is modernity.

It is much easier to decide outright that everything about the garb of an age is absolutely ugly than to devote oneself to the task of distilling form it the mysterious element of beauty that it may contain however slight or minimal that element may be.

It is doubtless an excellent thing to study the old masters in order to learn how to paint but it can be no more than a waste of labor if your aim is to understand the special nature of present-day beauty.

For any “modernity” to be worthy of one day taking its place as “antiquity” it is necessary for the mysterious beauty which human life accidentally put into it to be distilled from it. It must float free of culture.


What is Beauty?

Is there no longer such thing as originality? Has culture become one big endless loop?

No passion is stronger in the breast of man than the desire to make others believe as he believes. Nothing so cuts at the root of his happiness and fills him with rage as the sense that another rate low what he prizes high.

* Partial content originally derived from texts by Charles Baudlaire, James Joyce, Virgia Woolf, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, Samuel Beckett

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