who can only be as evil as we are ourselves

Art, to be sure, has its roots in the lives of human beings: the weakness, the strength, the absurdity. I doubt that it is limited to our comrades; since we have discovered that art does not belong to what was once the aristocracy, it does not therefore follow that it has become the exclusive propertyContinue reading “who can only be as evil as we are ourselves”

aspiring toward a perfect attentiveness

If all great art is symbolic of a kind of moral plenitude, of conflicting attitudes and impulses explored and worked through toward some ideal clarity, the act of reading is itself a model of ideal human relations, aspiring toward a perfect attentiveness in which emotional possession and intellectual comprehension–what experience conditions us to see andContinue reading “aspiring toward a perfect attentiveness”

the things we already have

Learning to love “the things we already have” is always the fount and foundation of contentment, happiness, and wonder: The whole object of real art, of real romance—and, above all, of real religion—is to prevent people from losing the humility and gratitude which are thankful for daylight and daily bread; to prevent them from regardingContinue reading “the things we already have”

people who can be started by common things

Indeed, it is a [tragic] fact that the same progressives who insist that government shall be democratic often insist that art must be [elitist], and “the public”, which is a god when they are talking about votes, becomes a brute when they are talking about books and pictures. [The solution] does not lie in increasingContinue reading “people who can be started by common things”

leaves him weaker as well as stronger

Each new power won by man is a power over man as well…. Each advance leaves him weaker as well as stronger…. The final stage is come when Man by eugenics, by pre-natal conditioning, and by an education and propaganda based on a perfect applied psychology, has obtained full control over himself. Human nature willContinue reading “leaves him weaker as well as stronger”

no personal philosophy to espouse

“This reduction of the highest aim of art from prophecy to amusement strikes at the root of any possible revival of true art.” …What was to take him [Coomaraswamy] much deeper than his forebears was his steady, persistent concentration on, and scholarly documentation of, the principles of the normal, or traditional philosophy of art. CoomaraswamyContinue reading “no personal philosophy to espouse”