Best 127 quotes in «aesthetics quotes» category

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    How convenient it is to declare that everything is totally ugly within the habit of the époque, rather than applying oneself to extract from it the dark and cryptic beauty, however faint and invisible it is.

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    Ideally a painter (and, generally, an artist) should not become conscious of his insights: without taking the detour through his conscious reflection, his progressive steps, mysterious even to himself, should enter so swiftly into the work that he is unable to recognize them in the moment of transition.

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    I became an artist because I wanted to be an active participant in the conversation about art.

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    I'd discovered that the range of beauty in breasts is wide; while one should never lightly say that a pair is ugly, one can easily say that a pair of breasts is beautiful. Hedgehogs are beautiful sometimes; so are baby pigs.

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    I do not believe that there is anything inherently and unavoidably ugly about industrialism. A factory or even a gasworks is not obliged of its own nature to be ugly, any more than a palace or a dog-kennel or a cathedral. . . . But in any case, though the ugliness of industrialism is the most obvious thing about it and the thing every newcomer exclaims against, I doubt whether it is centrally important. And perhaps it is not even desirable, industrialism being what it is, that it should learn to disguise itself as something else. As Mr Aldous Huxley has truly remarked, a dark Satanic mill ought to look like a dark Satanic mill and not like the temple of mysterious and splendid gods. Moreover, even in the worst of the industrial towns one sees a great deal that is not ugly in the narrow aesthetic sense. A belching chimney or a stinking slum is repulsive chiefly because it implies warped lives and ailing children. Look at it from a purely aesthetic standpoint and it may have a certain macabre appeal. I find that anything outrageously strange generally ends by fascinating me even when I abominate it.

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    If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without ascending it, the work would have been permitted.

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    I have been using art as a means to the emotions of life and reading into it the ideas of life.

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    In a Fisherian world, animals are slaves to evolutionary fashion, evolving extravagant and arbitrary displays and tastes that are all "meaningless"; they do not involve anything other than perceived qualities.

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    In a single wave of meaning the triumphant purity of being.

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    In going to the cross, Jesus was not being practical; he was being faithful. Jesus didn’t take a pragmatic approach to the problem of evil; Jesus took an aesthetic approach to the problem of evil. Jesus chose to absorb the ugliness of evil and turn it into something beautiful—the beauty of forgiveness.

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    In my box of sound bites there are no jackhammers, no snowmobiles, no Jet Skis, no children wailing. Music but no Muzak. It's my box. Put what you want in yours.

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    In here, Phryne, is the nursery. Do you like babies? Phryne laughed. No, not at all. they are not aesthetic like a puppy or a kitten. In fact, they always look drunk to me. look at that one---you'd swear he had been hitting the gin.

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    In the psychology of aesthetics, there is a name for the moment between the anxiety of confronting something new and the satisfying click of understanding it. It is called an 'aesthetic aha.

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    Is the world really beautified by the fact that man thinks it beautiful? He has humanized it, that is all.

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    If I beat my grandmother to death to-morrow in the middle of Battersea Park, you may be perfectly certain that people will say everything about it except the simple and fairly obvious fact that it is wrong. Some will call it insane; that is, will accuse it of a deficiency of intelligence. This is not necessarily true at all. You could not tell whether the act was unintelligent or not unless you knew my grandmother. Some will call it vulgar, disgusting, and the rest of it; that is, they will accuse it of a lack of manners. Perhaps it does show a lack of manners; but this is scarcely its most serious disadvantage. Others will talk about the loathsome spectacle and the revolting scene; that is, they will accuse it of a deficiency of art, or æsthetic beauty. This again depends on the circumstances: in order to be quite certain that the appearance of the old lady has definitely deteriorated under the process of being beaten to death, it is necessary for the philosophical critic to be quite certain how ugly she was before. Another school of thinkers will say that the action is lacking in efficiency: that it is an uneconomic waste of a good grandmother. But that could only depend on the value, which is again an individual matter. The only real point that is worth mentioning is that the action is wicked, because your grandmother has a right not to be beaten to death. But of this simple moral explanation modern journalism has, as I say, a standing fear. It will call the action anything else—mad, bestial, vulgar, idiotic, rather than call it sinful.

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    In the days of his health and strength, Owen would have confidently refuted this picture of hopelessness, but he was tired and ill. His room now remained unheated most of the time and he was racked with coughs and ominous chest pains. In the long, miserable hours when sleep would not come, he found his eyes turning to that mouldy stain upon the wall, and he began to harbour dark thoughts. What was all this talk of the soul anyway? It could not be weighed or measured; die surgeon never discovered it. In any case it could not grant insight into stock market prices, could create no visible wealth. Indeed, there were brilliant people with titles like 'professor', people whose name trailed endless letters, who even after the most rigorous deliberations, most elegant applications of logic, doubted that such a thing as the soul existed at all. And after all, was not The City full of Smugsbys who possessed no discernible soul, yet lived after their fashion? The Great Mystery was nothing to them. They did not seek the Great Answer; they were not aware that there had ever been a Great Question! What business had he, a starving wretch, in seeking to nurture through his writings an invisible, odourless, weightless abstraction of dubious commercial value, when the very process merely drew attention away from the 'real' business of getting on? "The White Road

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    It is with this movement, with the passage and dissolution of impressions, images, sensations, that analysis leaves off—that continual vanishing away, that strange, perpetual weaving and unweaving of ourselves.

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    It’s better to have a hunger and appreciation for beauty than to be merely beautiful. In the end, life is richer that way. She may learn that.

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    ....it seems to me that a pleasurable Contemplation of Beauty has certainly an immeasurably greater value than mere Consciousness of Pleasure.

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    In the course of aesthetic experience, the perceiver may be overwhelmed by this 'mere object', overcome with emotion, altered to the very roots of his being.[...] The experience of beauty involves an exchange of power, and as such, it is often disorienting, a mix of humility and exaltation, subjugation and liberation, awe and mystified pleasure.[...] Many people, fearing a pleasure they cannot control, have vilified beauty as a siren or a whore. Since at one time or another though, everyone answers to 'her' call, it would be well if we could recognize the meaning of our succumbing as a valuable response, an opportunity for self-revelation rather than defeat.[...] It entails a flexibility and empathy toward 'Others' in general and the capacity to see ourselves as both active and passive without fearing that we will be diminished in the process.

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    I think it's more accurate to think of aesthetics as a key ingredient in a recipe, as opposed to the icing on the cake.

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    It's very modern. Very gamine. You look like a jazz singer.

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    It's hard to combine a simple life with a love of aesthetics.

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    Man is not better treated by nature in his first start than her other works are; so long as he is unable to act for himself as an independent intelligence she acts for him. But the very fact that constitutes him a man is that he does not remain stationary, where nature has placed him, that he can pass with his reason, retracing the steps nature had made him anticipate, that he can convert the work of necessity into one of free solution, and elevate physical necessity into a moral law.

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    Its particular interest for Ian, however, lay in its thesis about the history of the Dutch relationship to windmills, for it emphasized that these early industrial objects had originally been felt to have all the pylons' threateningly alien qualities, rather than the air of enchantment and playfulness now routinely associated with them. They had been denounced from pulpits and occasionally burnt to the ground by suspicious villagers.

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    More than once have I thought, Why does crime, even when as powerful as Cæsar, and assured of being beyond punishment, strive always for the appearances of truth, justice, and virtue? Why does it take the trouble? I consider that to murder a brother, a mother, a wife, is a thing worthy of some petty Asiatic king, not a Roman Cæsar; but if that position were mine, I should not write justifying letters to the Senate. But Nero writes. Nero is looking for appearances, for Nero is a coward. But Tiberius was not a coward; still he justified every step he took. Why is this? What a marvellous, involuntary homage paid to virtue by evil! And knowest thou what strikes me? This, that it is done because transgression is ugly and virtue is beautiful. Therefore a man of genuine æsthetic feeling is also a virtuous man. Hence I am virtuous.

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    [I]t was [Barnett] Newman who made the famously wry remark, “Aesthetics is for the artist as ornithology is for the birds,

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    One interesting thing is the idea that people have of a kind of science of Aesthetics. I would almost like to talk of what could be meant by Aesthetics. You might think Aesthetics is a science telling us what's beautiful - almost too ridiculous for words. I suppose it ought to include also what sort of coffee tastes well. I see roughly this - there is a realm of utterance of delight, when you taste pleasant food or smell a pleasant smell, etc., then there is a realm of Art which is quite different, though often you may make the same face when you hear a piece of music as when you taste good food. (Though you may cry at something you like very much.) Supposing you meet someone in the street and he tells you he has lost his greatest friend, in a voice extremely expressive of his emotion. You might say: 'It was extraordinarily beautiful, the way he expressed himself.' Supposing you then asked: 'What similarity has my admiring this person with my eating vanilla ice and like it?' To compare them seems almost disgusting. (But you can connect them by intermediate cases.) Suppose someone says 'But this is a quite different kind of delight.' But did you learn two meanings of 'delight'? You use the same word on both occasions. There is some connection between these delights. Although in the first case the emotion of delight would in our judgement hardly count.

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    New clothes left Sylvia reeling with happiness. For Sylvia, a shopping list was a poem. She always shopped alone - it suited her deliberate nature and the artistic joy with which she approached all things aesthetic.

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    Now, analysis, the breaking of the wholes into parts, is fundamental to science, but for judging works of art, the procedure is more uncertain: what are the natural parts of a story, a sonnet, a painting? The maker's aim is to project his vision by creating not a machine made up of parts but the impression of seamless unity that belongs to a living thing. Looking at an early example of systematic criticism by analysis -- say, Dante's comments on his sonnet sequence La Vita Nuova -- one sees that the best he can do is to tell again in prose what the first two lines mean, then the next three, and so on in little chunks through the entire work. We may understand somewhat better his intention here and there, but at the same time we vaguely feel that the exercise was superfluous and inappropriate. Reflection tells us why: those notations taken together do not add up to the meaning of the several poems. In three words: analysis is reductive. Since its patent success in natural sciences, analysis has become a universal mode of dealing not merely with what is unknown or difficult, but also with all interesting things as if they were difficult. Accordingly, analysis is a theme. Depending on the particulars of its effect, it can also be designated reductivism.

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    Never worry about the reader, what the reader can understand. When you are writing, glance over your shoulder, and you’ll find there is no reader. Just you and the page. Feel lonely? Good! Assuming you can write clear English (or Norwegian) sentences, give up all worry about communication. If you want to communicate, use the telephone. To write a poem you have to have a streak of arrogance (…) when you are writing you must assume that the next thing you put down belongs not for reasons of logic, good sense, or narrative development, but because you put it there. You, the same person who said that, also said this. The adhesive force is your way of writing, not sensible connection.

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    No man sings as beautifully as when his song is accompanied by a woman’s voice.

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    People who insist upon dressing casually also want to think casually. And in a fallen world, thinking casually means being wrong more often than not.

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    Pleading with those eyes, it's obvious what I'm meant to do. I embrace the beauty and kiss it deeply.

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    Refinement creates beauty everywhere: it is the grossness of the spectator that discovers nothing but grossness in the object.

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    People are nice to me because of how I like, and part of me likes that, but part of me feels guilty because I haven't done anything to deserve it.

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    Su interés en la obra es simplemente moral o simplemente físico, y no es precisamente lo que debe ser: estético. Lectores tales gozan de una poesía sería y patética como de un sermón, y de una poesía humorística e ingenua, como de una bebida embriagadora, y carecen lo bastante de gusto para exigir edificación en una tragedia o epopeya.

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    Our sole concern with the long dead is aesthetic

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    Such competence is not necessarily acquired by means of the 'scholastic' labours in which some 'cinephiles' or 'jazz-freaks' indulge. Most often it results from the unintentional learning made possible by a disposition acquired through domestic or scholastic inculcation of legitimate culture. This transposable disposition, armed with a set of perceptual and evaluative schemes that are available for general application, inclines its owner towards other cultural experiences and enables him to perceive, classify and memorize them differently. . . . In identifying what is worthy of being seen and the right way to see it, they are aided by their whole social group and by the whole corporation of critics mandated by the group to produce legitimate classifications and the discourse necessarily accompanying any artistic enjoyment worthy of the name.

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    Sylvia’s inherent appreciation for beauty as both artist and consumer is evident in her journals and letters…….she wrote beautifully about clothes. She wrote about them with irony and wit mixed in with all the rococo prettiness.

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    The aesthetics aren't merely a side note, they're as important as anything else.

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    The aesthetic can have its revenge upon ideology by revealing a power to complicate that is also a power to undermine.

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    The answer to these questions is tied to the public's attitude about suicide. For many people, suicide is morally reprehensible. It's against their religion, or against their culture, or contrary to their personal values. Like other unpleasant subjects - incest, disease, discrimination - it's avoided.

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    The assignment of meanings [in music] is a shifting, kaleidoscopic play, probably below the threshold of consciousness, certainly outside the pale of discursive thinking. The imagination that responds to music is personal and associative and logical, tinged with affect, tinged with bodily rhythm, tinged with dream, but concerned with a wealth of formulations for its wealth of wordless knowledge, its whole knowledge of emotional and organic experience, of vital impulse, balance, conflict, the ways of living and dying and feeling.

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    The beautiful is as useful as the useful. ... perhaps more so.

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    The connoisseur's hushed, museum-trained gaze is not well-designed for these purposes. That gaze values subtlety, complexity, ambiguity, and irony. Its most characteristic grace note is self-congratulation at being the kind of person who likes this rare and beautiful thing, whatever it may be, laced always with contempt for those too crude, too uneducated, or too simple to be able do so.

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    The better looking you are the harder your life, under one condition: You're of above average intelligence. It's those unintelligent attractive people who have it best.

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    Tensurrealism creates actual and non-compromised reality, jamboree, fervor, fascination, poetics of an active enthusiasm, interludium, lyrical practice, active happiness.

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    ...the line of beauty is the line of beauty. It doesn't matter if it's been through the Xerox machine a hundred times.

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    The novel has accompanied man uninterruptedly and faithfully since the beginning of the Modern Era. It was then that the "passion to know," which Husserl considered the essence of European spirituality, seized the novel and led it to scrutinize man's concrete life and protect it against "the forgetting of being"; to hold "the world of life" under a permanent light. That is the sense in which I understand and share Hermann Broch's insistence in repeating: The sole raison d'etre of a novel is to discover what only the novel can discover. A novel that does not discover a hitherto unknown segment of existence is immoral. Knowledge is the novel's only morality.

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