quote

Quotes About Aesthetics

Quotes tagged as "aesthetics" (showing 1-30 of 66)
Oscar Wilde
“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Hiromu Arakawa
“Nothing's perfect, the world's not perfect. But it's there for us, trying the best it can; that's what makes it so damn beautiful.”
Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 01

Sophia Loren
“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”
Sophia Loren

China Miéville
“When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate.

Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader.

That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations.

Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb Iron Dragon's Daughter gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies?

Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge.

The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.”
China Miéville

Baruch Spinoza
“In so far as the mind sees things in their eternal aspect, it participates in eternity.”
Baruch Spinoza, Spinoza in der europäischen Geistesgeschichte

Leonard Bernstein
“Any great art work … revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world - the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air.”
Leonard Bernstein

Ariana Reines
“I want to say something about bad writing. I'm proud of my bad writing. Everyone is so intelligent lately, and stylish. Fucking great. I am proud of Philip Guston's bad painting, I am proud of Baudelaire's mamma's boy goo goo misery. Sometimes the lurid or shitty means having a heart, which's something you have to try to have. Excellence nowadays is too general and available to be worth prizing: I am interested in people who have to find strange and horrible ways to just get from point a to point b.”
Ariana Reines

Susan Sontag
“Rules of taste enforce structures of power.”
Susan Sontag

Cornel West
“Aesthetics have substantial political consequences. How one views oneself as beautiful or not beautiful or desirable or not desirable has deep consequences in terms of one’s feelings of self-worth and one’s capacity to be a political agent.”
Cornel West, Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life

Charlaine Harris
“It was one of God's jokes that such a dumb mind had been put in such an eloquent body.”
Charlaine Harris, Dead Until Dark

Walter Benjamin
“All efforts to make politics aesthetic culminate in one thing, war.”
Walter Benjamin

Alfred North Whitehead
“Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.”
Alfred North Whitehead

Arthur Conan Doyle
“To the man who loves art for its own sake, it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

Clarice Lispector
“In the world there exists no aesthetic plane, not even the aesthetic plane of goodness.”
Clarice Lispector, The Passion According to G.H.

David Bentley Hart
“Christianity has from its beginning portrayed itself as a gospel of peace, a way of reconciliation (with God, with other creatures), and a new model of human community, offering the 'peace which passes understanding' to a world enmeshed in sin and violence. (1)”
David Bentley Hart

Louis de Bernières
“Fascism is fundamentally and at bottom an aesthetic conception, and . . . it is your function as creators of beautiful things to portray with the greatest efficacy the sublime beauty and inevitable reality of the Fascist ideal.”
Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin

David Bentley Hart
“God's pleasure--the beauty creation possesses in his regard--underlies the distinct being of creation, and so beauty is the first and truest word concerning all that appears within being; beauty is the showing of what is; God looked upon what he had wrought and saw that it was good.”
David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth

Misha Glouberman
“I think that's what art is: art is communication made in the hope that interesting miscommunications will arise.”
Misha Glouberman

Theodor W. Adorno
“The darkening of the world makes the irrationality of art rational: radically darkened art.”
Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory

Irving Stone
“He had never believed that spirituality had to be anemic or aesthetic.

Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo

Tom Robbins
“In the life of the individual, an aesthetic sensibility is both more authentic and more commendable than a political or religious one.”
Tom Robbins

August Strindberg
“At last everything was satisfactorily arranged, and I could not help admiring the setting: these mingled touches betrayed on a small scale the inspiration of a poet, the research of a scientist, the good taste of an artist, the gourmet’s fondness for good food, and the love of flowers, which concealed in their delicate shadows a hint of the love of women”
August Strindberg, Madman's Defence

Patrick White
“They walked on rather aimlessly. He hoped she wouldn't notice he was touched, because he wouldn't have known how to explain why. Here lay the great discrepancy between aesthetic truth and sleazy reality.”
Patrick White, The Vivisector

Theodor W. Adorno
“Art is the social antithesis of society, not directly deducible from it.”
Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory

“What is especially striking and remarkable is that in fundamental physics a beautiful or elegant theory is more likely to be right than a theory that is inelegant.”
Murray Gell-Mann

Hope Mirrlees
“Let a thing be but a sort of punctual surprise, like the first cache of violets in March, let it be delicate, painted and gratuitous, hinting that the Creator is solely occupied with aesthetic considerations, and combines disparate objects simply because they look so well together, and that thing will admirably fill the role of a flower.”
Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist

“In my box of sound bites there are no jackhammers, no snowmobiles, no Jet Skis, no children wailing. Music but no Muzak.
It's my box. Put what you want in yours.”
Joan Oliver Goldsmith, How Can We Keep from Singing: Music and the Passionate Life

David Bentley Hart
“Christ is a persuasion, a form evoking desire, and the whole force of the gospel depends upon the assumption that this persuasion is also peace: that the desire awakened by the shape of Christ and his church is one truly reborn as agape, rather than merely the way in which a lesser force succumbs to a greater, as an episode in the endless epic of power. (3)”
David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth

David Bentley Hart
“For if indeed God became a man, then Truth condescended to became a truth, from whose historical contingency one cannot simply pass to categories of universal rationality; and this means that whatever Christians mean when they speak of truth, it cannot involve simply the dialectical wrestling of abstract principles from intractable facts. (5)”
David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth

“Aestheticism is the garbage of intuitive feeling.”
Kazimir Severinovich Malevich

« previous 1 3
All Quotes | My Quotes | Add A Quote


Browse By Tag

More...