Monday, August 27, 2018

our failure is to form habits

--- Walter Pater, The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry, Conclusion (1st ed. 1873)

In context

To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life. In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes any two persons, things, situations, seem alike.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

We live by admiration, hope and love

--- William Wordsworth, quoted by Carleton Noyes in the final paragraph of The Gate of Appreciation: Studies in the Relation of Art to Life, 1907 (on

From Noyes:
Art is within the range of every man who holds himself open to its appeal. But art is not the final thing. It is a means to an end; its end is personality. There are exalted moments in the experience of us all which we feel to be finer than any art. Then we do not need to turn to painting, music, literature, for our satisfaction. We are living. Art is aid and inspiration, but its fulfillment and end is life.
"We live," says Wordsworth, "by admiration, hope, and love." Admiration is wonder and worship, a sense of the mystery and the beauty of life as we know it now, and thankfulness for it, and joy. Hope is the vision of things to be. And love is the supreme enfolding unity that makes all one. Art is life at its best, but life is the greatest of the arts,--life harmonious, deep in feeling, big in sympathy, the life that is appreciation, responsiveness, and love.