Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Conclusion of "The Renaissance." Walter Pater.

One-minute review: The purpose of art is to provide a heightening of experience.


“The service of philosophy, of speculative culture, towards the human spirit, is to rouse, to startle it to a life of constant and eager observation.”

“With this sense of the splendor of our experience and its awful brevity.”

“As Victor Hugo says: we are all under a sentence of death but with a sort of indefinite reprieve….”

“…we have an interval, and then our place knows us no more.”

“For our one chance lies in expanding of that interval in getting as many pulsations as possible into the given time.”

“For art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments’ sake.”

Great Essays. Ed. Houston Peterson. New York: Washington Square Press, Inc. 1960.

What is an essay? “They are all prefaces. A preface is nothing but a talk with the reader; and they [essays] do nothing else.” Charles Lamb.

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