Friday, August 15, 2008

Walter Pater's "The Renaissance"

from the Preface:

The aesthetic critic, then regards all the objects with which he has to do, all works of art, and the fairer forms of nature and human life, as powers or forces producing pleasurable sensations, each of a more or less peculiar or unique kind. This influence he feels, and wishes to explain, by analysing and reducing to its elements. . . . Our education becomes complete in proportion as our susceptibility to these impressions increases in depth and variety. 

from "Pico della Mirandola":

For the essence of humanism is that belief of which he never seems to have doubted, that nothing which has ever interested living men and women can wholly lose its vitality--no language they have spoken, nor oracle beside which they have hushed their voices, no dream which has once been entertained by actual human minds, nothing about which they have ever been passionate, or expended time and zeal. 

from "The Poetry of Michelangelo":

And to the true admirers of Michelangelo this is the true type of the Michelangelesque--sweetness and strength, pleasure with surprise, an energy of conception which seems at every moment about to break through all the conditions of comely form, recovering, touch by touch, a loveliness found usually only in the simplest natural things--ex forti dulcedo

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