2016-01-02 09:53:13 If we are inclined to forget how much there is in the world besides that which we anticipate, then works of art are perhaps a little to blame, for in them we find at work the same process of simplification or selection as in the imagination.
2016-01-02 09:57:04 The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress; they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments, and thus, without either lying or embellishing, they lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in the distracting woolliness of the present.
2016-01-02 09:57:38 memory is in this respect similar to anticipation: an instrument of simplification and selection.
2016-01-04 21:46:22 What we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home.
2016-01-08 17:26:00 Friedrich Nietzsche composed an essay in which he distinguished between collecting facts like an explorer or academic and using already well known facts to the end of inner, psychological enrichment.
2016-01-08 17:25:40 What would it mean to seek knowledge ‘for life' in one's travels?
2016-01-08 17:27:22 Nietzsche also proposed a second kind of tourism, whereby we may learn how our societies and identities have been formed by the past and so acquire a sense of continuity and belonging.
2016-01-08 17:43:07 Curiosity might be pictured as being made up of chains of small questions extending outwards, sometimes over huge distances, from a central hub composed of a few blunt, large questions.
2016-01-08 17:43:38 The blunt large questions become connected to smaller, apparently esoteric ones. We end up wondering about flies on the sides of mountains or about a particular fresco on the wall of a sixteenth-century palace.
2016-01-08 17:46:35 Why have people felt the need to build churches?' or even ‘Why do we worship God?' From such a naive starting point, a chain of curiosity would have the chance to grow, involving questions such as ‘Why are churches different in different places?', ‘What have been the main styles of churches?' and ‘Who were the main architects, and why did they achieve success?' Only through such a slow evolution of curiosity
2016-01-08 17:46:47 could a traveller stand a chance of greeting the news that the church's vast neoclassical facade was by Sabatini with anything other than boredom or despair.
2016-01-08 17:47:23 The risk is compounded by geography in the way that cities contain buildings or monuments that may be only a few feet apart in space but are leagues apart in terms of what is required to appreciate them.
2016-01-09 12:50:53 The poet accused cities of fostering a family of life-destroying emotions: anxiety about our position in the social hierarchy, envy at the success of others, pride and a desire to shine in the eyes of strangers.
2016-01-09 21:35:55 If we are to accept (even in part) Wordsworth's argument, we may need to concede a prior principle holding that our identities are
2016-01-09 21:35:59 to a greater or lesser extent malleable, changing according to whom—and sometimes what—we are with.
2016-01-09 21:35:47 Natural scenes have the power to suggest certain values to us—oaks dignity, pines resolution, lakes calm—and therefore may, in unobtrusive ways, act as inspirations to virtue.
2016-01-10 11:05:02 Looking back on Wordsworth's early poems, Coleridge would assert that their genius had been to ‘give the charm of novelty to things of every day and to excite a feeling analogous to the supernatural, by awakening the mind's attention from the lethargy of custom, and directing it to the loveliness and wonders of the world before us
2016-01-10 11:13:46 Wordsworth urged us to travel through landscapes in order to feel emotions that may benefit our souls. I set out for the desert so as
2016-01-10 11:13:52 to be made to feel small.
2016-01-10 11:19:33 ‘The ideas of the sublime and beautiful are frequently confounded,' he complained. ‘Both are indiscriminately applied to things greatly differing and sometimes of natures directly opposite'
2016-01-10 11:19:55 A landscape could arouse the sublime only when it suggested power—a power greater than that of humans, and threatening to them.
2016-01-10 11:38:42 One answer is that not everything that is more powerful than us must always be hateful to us.
2016-01-11 10:46:57 And perhaps the most effective means of enriching our sense of what to look for in a scene is by studying visual art.
2016-01-11 10:51:48 Van Gogh frequently paid tribute to painters who had allowed him to see certain colours and atmospheres. Velazquez, for example, had given him a map that allowed him to see grey.
2016-01-11 10:53:33 It was for van Gogh the mark of every great painter to enable viewers to see certain aspects of the world more clearly. If Velazquez was his guide to grey and
2016-01-11 10:54:14 to the coarse faces of large cooks, then Monet was his guide to sunsets, Rembrandt to morning light and Vermeer to adolescent girls (‘A perfect Vermeer,' he exclaimed to Theo after he spotted one example near the arena). The sky over the Rhone after a heavy rain shower reminded him of Hokusai, the wheat of Millet and the young women in Saintes-Maries de la Mer of Cimabue and Giotto.
2016-01-12 10:29:25 Yet in playing hell, van Gogh was only making more explicit a process in which all artists are involved—namely, choosing which aspects of reality to include in a work and which to leave out. As Nietzsche knew, reality itself is infinite and can never be wholly represented in art
2016-01-12 10:30:06 his art would involve, as he mockingly told his brother, ‘a likeness different from the products of the God-fearing photographer'.
2016-01-12 10:40:15 Art cannot single-handedly create enthusiasm, nor does it arise from sentiments of which nonartists are devoid; it merely contributes to enthusiasm and guides us to be more conscious of feelings that we might previously have experienced only tentatively or hurriedly.
2016-01-13 08:12:58 A central part of his work was to pivot around the question of how we can possess the beauty of places.
2016-01-13 08:19:00 The really precious things are thought and sight, not pace. It does a bullet no good to go fast; and a man, if he be truly a man, no harm to go slow; for his glory is not at all in going, but in being.'
2016-01-13 08:20:49 Technology may make it easier to reach beauty, but it does not simplify the process of possessing or appreciating it.
2016-01-14 09:41:38 ‘The sole cause of man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room'—Pascal, Pensées,
2016-01-15 09:30:54 ‘I advise any man who can do so to get himself pink and white bedlinen,' he writes, for these are colours to induce calm and pleasant reveries in the fragile sleeper.