Aesthetic Love Quotes

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Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and stumbles to bring it to you. Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement. And just as inferior people prefer the inferior animal which scampers excitedly because someone else wants something, so do superior people respect the superior animal which lives its own life and knows that the puerile stick-throwings of alien bipeds are none of its business and beneath its notice. The dog barks and begs and tumbles to amuse you when you crack the whip. That pleases a meekness-loving peasant who relishes a stimulus to his self importance. The cat, on the other hand, charms you into playing for its benefit when it wishes to be amused; making you rush about the room with a paper on a string when it feels like exercise, but refusing all your attempts to make it play when it is not in the humour. That is personality and individuality and self-respect -- the calm mastery of a being whose life is its own and not yours -- and the superior person recognises and appreciates this because he too is a free soul whose position is assured, and whose only law is his own heritage and aesthetic sense.
H.P. Lovecraft
I’ve seen knives pierce the chest, Children dying in the road Crawling things hooked and baited, Rapists bound and then castrated, Villains singed in public square. Yet none these sights did make me cringe Like when my Love cut all her hair.
Roman Payne
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
The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, 'although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,' wrote Orwell, tends to be 'uninterested in what happens in the real world.' Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism 'has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.' A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
Ô, the wine of a woman from heaven is sent, more perfect than all that a man can invent.
Roman Payne (The Love of Europa: Limited Time Edition (Only the First Chapters))
We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance. We can be sure that whoever sneers at her name as if she were the ornament of a bourgeois past -- whether he admits it or not -- can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love.
Hans Urs von Balthasar (Seeing the Form (The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, Vol. 1))
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 (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #12))
He was no god, just an artist; and when an artist is a man, he needs a woman to create like a god.
Roman Payne
There is none more beautiful than the lover of beauty.
Raheel Farooq
Physical attraction was about aesthetics, not sexual performance, not mental stimulation. Without a mental connection, a remarkable sexual performance yielded no lifelong guarantees. It was only lust. And lust was not love.
Eric Jerome Dickey (Pleasure (Nia #1))
All of that art-for-art’s-sake stuff is BS,” she declares. “What are these people talking about? Are you really telling me that Shakespeare and Aeschylus weren’t writing about kings? All good art is political! There is none that isn’t. And the ones that try hard not to be political are political by saying, ‘We love the status quo.’ We’ve just dirtied the word ‘politics,’ made it sound like it’s unpatriotic or something.” Morrison laughs derisively. “That all started in the period of state art, when you had the communists and fascists running around doing this poster stuff, and the reaction was ‘No, no, no; there’s only aesthetics.’ My point is that is has to be both: beautiful and political at the same time. I’m not interested in art that is not in the world. And it’s not just the narrative, it’s not just the story; it’s the language and the structure and what’s going on behind it. Anybody can make up a story.
Toni Morrison
We need a moral philosophy which can speak significantly of Freud and Marx and out of which aesthetic and political views can be generated. We need a moral philosophy in which the concept of love, so rarely mentioned now, can once again be made central.
Iris Murdoch
Why do you like show jumping?" "... Beauty and excitement. The elements of trust, talent, training, love, and danger make show jumping a thrilling and aesthetic experience. It's really the ultimate test of two nervous systems--the kinetic transfer of the rider's muscle to the horse's muscle enables them to clear those jumps. And there's nothing like it--horse and rider forming an arc of beauty, efficiency, and power, like a double helix." "DNA," "Yes, DNA, the code to life.
Ainslie Sheridan
For all the pain you suffered, my mama. For all the torment of your past and future years, my mama. For all the anguish this picture of pain will cause you. For the unspeakable mystery that brings good fathers and sons into the world and lets a mother watch them tear at each other’s throats. For the Master of the Universe, whose suffering world I do not comprehend. For dreams of horror, for nights of waiting, for memories of death, for the love I have for you, for all the things I remember, and for all the things I should remember but have forgotten, for all these I created this painting—an observant Jew working on a crucifixion because there was no aesthetic mold in his own religious tradition into which he could pour a painting of ultimate anguish and torment.
Chaim Potok (My Name Is Asher Lev)
Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things than I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.
Joseph Goebbels
The aesthetic event is something as evident, as immediate, as indefinable as love, the taste of fruit, as water. We feel poetry as we feel the closeness of a woman, or as we feel a mountain or a bay. If we feel it immediately, why dilute it further with words, which no doubt will be weaker than our feelings?
Jorge Luis Borges
By the standards of most love stories, our own, real relationships are almost all damaged and unsatisfactory. No wonder separation and divorce so often appear inevitable. But we should be careful not to judge our relationships by the expectations imposed on us by a frequently misleading aesthetic medium. The fault lies with art, not life. Rather than split up, we may need to tell ourselves more accurate stories – stories that don’t dwell so much on the beginning, that don’t promise us complete understanding, that strive to normalise our troubles and show us a melancholy yet hopeful path through the course of love.
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
I think a lot about queer villains, the problem and pleasure and audacity of them. I know I should have a very specific political response to them. I know, for example, I should be offended by Disney’s lineup of vain, effete ne’er-do-wells (Scar, Jafar), sinister drag queens (Ursula, Cruella de Vil), and constipated, man-hating power dykes (Lady Tremaine, Maleficent). I should be furious at Downton Abbey’s scheming gay butler and Girlfriend’s controlling, lunatic lesbian, and I should be indignant about Rebecca and Strangers on a Train and Laura and The Terror and All About Eve, and every other classic and contemporary foppish, conniving, sissy, cruel, humorless, depraved, evil, insane homosexual on the large and small screen. And yet, while I recognize the problem intellectually—the system of coding, the way villainy and queerness became a kind of shorthand for each other—I cannot help but love these fictional queer villains. I love them for all of their aesthetic lushness and theatrical glee, their fabulousness, their ruthlessness, their power. They’re always by far the most interesting characters on the screen. After all, they live in a world that hates them. They’ve adapted; they’ve learned to conceal themselves. They’ve survived.
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
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)
She could afford anything, she could give anything, but she could not share a moment of her life with anybody. She was a beautiful and a glamorous diamond with an astronomical price tag, but to a crude reality — she was still a stone, a living stone. Nothing else but a stone in an aesthetic sense.
Ravindra Shukla (A Maverick Heart: Between Love and Life)
Nothing has a more sinister effect on art than the artist's desire to prove that he's good. The terrible temptation of idealism! You must achieve mastery over your idealism, over your virtue as well as over your vice, aesthetic mastery over everything that drives you to write in the first place - your outrage, your politics, your grief, your love!
Philip Roth
The fans, the vampire groupies, love the idea of this androgynous, preternatural figure stalking the night, and craving aesthetic pleasure just as he craves blood, wearing only the best velvet clothes, and savoring red roses.
Anne Rice
Much has been said of the aesthetic values of chanoyu- the love of the subdued and austere- most commonly characterized by the term, wabi. Wabi originally suggested an atmosphere of desolation, both in the sense of solitariness and in the sense of the poverty of things. In the long history of various Japanese arts, the sense of wabi gradually came to take on a positive meaning to be recognized for its profound religious sense. ...the related term, sabi,... It was mid-winter, and the water's surface was covered with the withered leaves of the of the lotuses. Suddenly I realized that the flowers had not simply dried up, but that they embodied, in their decomposition, the fullness of life that would emerge again in their natural beauty.
Kakuzō Okakura (The Book Of Tea)
God's love, and hence the love with which we come to love God, is eros and agape at once: a desire for the other that delights in the distance of otherness.
David Bentley Hart (The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth)
Instead of being regarded as intelligent or knowledgeable, many a woman would rather be regarded as beautiful or good in the kitchen; many a man, as handsome or good in bed.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
I must pack my short lifer full of interesting events and creative activity. Philosophy and aesthetic contemplation are not enough. I intend to do everything possible to broaden my experiences and allow myself to reach the fullest development. Then, and before physical deterioration obtrudes, I shall go on some last wilderness trip to a place I have known and loved. I shall not return.
Everett Ruess (Everett Ruess: A Vagabond for Beauty)
Love? What is it? The most natural painkiller what there is.” You may become curious, though, about what happened to that painkiller should depression take hold and expose your love—whatever its object—as just one of the many intoxicants that muddled your consciousness of the human tragedy. You may also want to take a second look at whatever struck you as a person, place, or thing of “beauty,” a quality that lives only in the neurotransmitters of the beholder. (Aesthetics? What is it? A matter for those not depressed enough to care nothing about anything, that is, those who determine almost everything that is supposed to matter to us. Protest as you like, neither art nor an aesthetic view of life are distractions granted to everyone.) In depression, all that once seemed beautiful, or even startling and dreadful, is nothing to you. The image of a cloud-crossed moon is not in itself a purveyor of anything mysterious or mystical; it is only an ensemble of objects represented to us by our optical apparatus and perhaps processed as a memory.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror)
But the very question of whether photography is or is not an art is essentially a misleading one. Although photography generates works that can be called art --it requires subjectivity, it can lie, it gives aesthetic pleasure-- photography is not, to begin with, an art form at all. Like language, it is a medium in which works of art (among other things) are made. Out of language, one can make scientific discourse, bureaucratic memoranda, love letters, grocery lists, and Balzac's Paris. Out of photography, one can make passport pictures, weather photographs, pornographic pictures, X-rays, wedding pictures, and Atget's Paris. Photography is not an art like, say, painting and poetry. Although the activities of some photographers conform to the traditional notion of a fine art, the activity of exceptionally talented individuals producing discrete objects that have value in themselves, form the beginning photography has also lent itself to that notion of art which says that art is obsolete. The power of photography --and its centrality in present aesthetic concerns-- is that it confirms both ideas of art. But the way in which photography renders art obsolete is, in the long run, stronger.
Susan Sontag (On Photography)
Jobs's intensity was also evident in his ability to focus. He would set priorities, aim his laser attention on them, and filter out distractions. If something engaged him- the user interface for the original Macintosh, the design of the iPod and iPhone, getting music companies into the iTunes Store-he was relentless. But if he did not want to deal with something - a legal annoyance, a business issue, his cancer diagnosis, a family tug- he would resolutely ignore it. That focus allowed him to say no. He got Apple back on track by cutting all except a few core products. He made devices simpler by eliminating buttons, software simpler by eliminating features, and interfaces simpler by eliminating options. He attributed his ability to focus and his love of simplicity to his Zen training. It honed his appreciation for intuition, showed him how to filter out anything that was distracting or unnecessary, and nurtured in him an aesthetic based on minimalism.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
In the end, this volume should be read a s a collection of love stories, Above all, they are tales of love, not the love with which so many stories end – the love of fidelity, kindness and fertility – but the other side of love, its cruelty, sterility and duplicity. In a way, the decadents did accept Nordau's idea of the artist as monster. But in nature, the glory and panacea of romanticism, they found nothing. Theirs is an aesthetic that disavows the natural and with it the body. The truly beautiful body is dead, because it is empty. Decadent work is always morbid, but its attraction to death is through art. What they refused was the condemnation of that monster. And yet despite the decadent celebration of artifice, these stories record art's failure in the struggle against natural horror. Nature fights back and wins, and decadent writing remains a remarkable account of that failure.
Asti Hustvedt (The Decadent Reader: Fiction, Fantasy, and Perversion from Fin-de-Siècle France)
Aesthetic emotion puts man in a state favorable to the reception of erotic emotion. Art is the accomplice of love. Take love away and there is no longer art.
Rémy de Gourmont
It's hard to combine a simple life with a love of aesthetics.
Marty Rubin
It is ironical that for all the value we give to the rational, life is primarily governed by the irrational. Love is not rational. Sorrow is not rational. Hatred, ambition, rage and greed are irrational. Even ethics, morals and aesthetics are not rational. They depend on values and standards which are ultimately subjective.
Devdutt Pattanaik (Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology)
Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
Even now I remember those pictures, like pictures in a storybook one loved as a child. Radiant meadows, mountains vaporous in the trembling distance; leaves ankle-deep on a gusty autumn road; bonfires and fog in the valleys; cellos, dark window-panes, snow.
Donna Tartt
There is an aesthetic dimension to virtue. In real life, as opposed to in celluloid, we are attracted to the good and repelled by the bad. Even the woman who says she prefers the archetypal 'bad boy' probably doesn't actually like it when he is bad toward her.
John Dickson (Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership)
True art, when it happens to us, challenges the 'I' that we are. A love-parallel would be just; falling in love challenges the reality to which we lay claim, part of the pleasure of love and part of its terror, is the world turned upside down. We want and we don't want, the cutting edge, the upset, the new views. Mostly we work hard at taming our emotional environment just as we work hard at taming our aesthetic environment. We already have tamed our physical environment. And are we happy with all this tameness? Are you?
Jeanette Winterson (Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery)
The better looking you are the harder your life, under one condition: You're of above average intelligence. It's those unintelligent attractive people who have it best.
Gregor Collins (The Accidental Caregiver: How I Met, Loved, and Lost Legendary Holocaust Refugee Maria Altmann)
You must never settle for someone who is not willing to swim in your tormented seas -You are worthy of more than they are willing to give
Rhiley Jade (Drowning in Starlight)
When a person has fallen in love with God, both his ethical commitments and aesthetical pleasures become focused and satisfying. But when the religious is lost, ethics devolves into, first, a fussy legalism, and then is swallowed up completely by the lust for personal satisfaction.
Robert Barron (Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture)
The nice people do not come to God, because they think they are good through their own merits or bad through inherited instincts. If they do good, they believe they are to receive the credit for it; if they do evil, they deny that it is their own fault. They are good through their own goodheartedness, they say; but they are bad because they are misfortunate, either in their economic life or through an inheritance of evil genes from their grandparents. The nice people rarely come to God; they take their moral tone from the society in which they live. Like the Pharisee in front of the temple, they believe themselves to be very respectable citizens. Elegance is their test of virtue; to them, the moral is the aesthetic, the evil is the ugly. Every move they make is dictated, not by a love of goodness, but by the influence of their age. Their intellects are cultivated—in knowledge of current events; they read only the bestsellers, but their hearts are undisciplined. They say that they would go to church if the Church were only better—but they never tell you how much better the Church must be before they will join it. They sometimes condemn the gross sins of society, such as murder; they are not tempted to these because they fear the opprobrium which comes to them who commit them. By avoiding the sins which society condemns, they escape reproach, they consider themselves good par excellence.
Fulton J. Sheen
The effect is both domestic and wild, equal parts geometric and chaotic. It's the visual signature of small, diversified farms that creates the picture-postcard landscape here, along with its celebrated gastronomic one. Couldn't Americans learn to love landscapes like these around our cities, treasuring them not just gastronomically but aesthetically, instead of giving everything over to suburban development? Can we only love agriculture on postcards?
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
The mind provides a person with the mental fortitude to survive any physical or spiritual crisis. For the present time, I am satisfying myself by building a little shop in the back of my mind, a place where stillness resides and a jangle of thoughts can come and visit. I am building a room of my own, a room that I can retreat to when needed, a place where I am always welcomed regardless of the trappings of this ordinary and finite life. I do not need much as far as earthy rewards, but I certainly will not spurn food, drink, companionship, love, affection, friendship, or other physical, emotional, spiritual, aesthetic, and sensuous pleasures that find their way to my humble doorstep.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
What science offers for explaining the feelings we experience when believing in God or falling in love is complementary, not conflicting; additive, not detractive. I find it deeply interesting to know that when I fall in love with someone my initial lustful feelings are enhanced by dopamine, a neurohormone produced by the hypothalamus that triggers the release of testosterone, the hormone that drives sexual desire, and that my deeper feelings of attachment are reinforced by oxytocin, a hormone synthesized in the hypothalamus and secreted into the blood by the pituitary. Further, it is instructive to know that such hormone-induced neural pathways are exclusive to monogamous pair-bonded species as an evolutionary adaptation for the long-term care of helpless infants. We fall in love because our children need us! Does this in any way lessen the qualitative experience of falling in love and doting on one’s children? Of course not, any more than unweaving a rainbow into its constituent parts reduces the aesthetic appreciation of the rainbow.
Michael Shermer (The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths)
Marital life cannot be easily represented in art because it is the small, invisible, quotidian growth of the day-to-day, where outwardly nothing happens. Romantic love is like a general who knows how to conquer but not how to govern once the last shot is fired. Unlike the aesthete, who knows how to 'kill time' , married people master time without killing it. Marital time is about the wise use and governance of time, setting one's hands to the plough of the day-to-day.
John D. Caputo (How to Read Kierkegaard)
Before I met Maria, I was your basic craven hermit. I spent most of my time in my room, in love with my walls, hiding out from the world with my fanzines and my records. I thought I was happier that way. I had developed these monastic habits to protect myself from something, probably, but whatever it was, the monastic habits had turned into the bigger problem. In my headphones, I led a life of romance and incident and intrigue, none of which had anything to do with the world outside my Walkman. I was an English major, obsessed with Oscar Wilde and Walter Pater and Algernon Swinburne, thrilling to the exploits of my decadent aesthete poet idols, even though my only experience with decadence was reading about it.
Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time)
In The Dynamics of Creation, Anthony Storr, the British psychiatrist, contends that an individual who “fears love almost as much as he fears hatred” may turn to creative activity not only out of an impulse to experience aesthetic pleasure, or the delight of exercising an active mind, but also to defend himself against anxiety stimulated by conflicting demands for detachment and human contact.21
Sylvia Nasar (Beautiful Mind)
We want people to represent us in politics—and in love and economics too. When people represent us fully, they are ourselves and are not ourselves. When an object is simultaneously the same as and different from the person concerned with it—or considering it—aesthetics is there.
Eli Siegel
Oh, and a huge Federal Building that looked like it was being molested by a giant steel pterodactyl, but evidently that was just the government trying to get away from their standard bomb shelter architecture to something more aesthetically appealing, especially if you liked Godzilla porn.
Christopher Moore (Bite Me (A Love Story, #3))
In going to the cross, Jesus was not being practical; he was being faithful. Jesus didn’t take a pragmatic approach to the problem of evil; Jesus took an aesthetic approach to the problem of evil. Jesus chose to absorb the ugliness of evil and turn it into something beautiful—the beauty of forgiveness.
Brian Zahnd (Beauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity)
He felt the full warmth of that pleasure from which the proud shut themselves out; the pleasure which not only goes with humiliation, but which almost is humiliation. Men who have escaped death by a hair have it, and men whose love is returned by a woman unexpectedly, and men whose sins are forgiven them. Everything his eye fell on it feasted on, not aesthetically, but with a plain, jolly appetite as of a boy eating buns. He relished the squareness of the houses; he liked their clean angles as if he had just cut them with a knife. The lit squares of the shop windows excited him as the young are excited by the lit stage of some promising pantomime. He happened to see in one shop which projected with a bulging bravery on to the pavement some square tins of potted meat, and it seemed like a hint of a hundred hilarious high teas in a hundred streets of the world. He was, perhaps, the happiest of all the children of men. For in that unendurable instant when he hung, half slipping, to the ball of St. Paul's, the whole universe had been destroyed and re-created.
G.K. Chesterton (The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton Volume 07: The Ball and the Cross; Manalive; the Flying Inn)
When I fall in love with someone, then that doesn’t “just” happen… When I love someone’s character, over time I’ll see that personality, I love so much, shining through their eyes and fusing with their appearance, turning them in the most beautiful girl in the world. It’s not about appearance, it’s about someone’s beautiful, amazing, wonderful, fantastic personality, you’ll see every time you look at her. It’s about the fact that when you look in her eyes, you just feel home… You forget all your problems, all your fears, you just feel safe, you feel like you’ve finally found a place where you belong… A place you can spend an eternity, where you will spend an eternity, cause those enchanting, beautiful eyes will slow down time and make every second; looking in her beautiful eyes, right into her amazing personality, last more than a lifetime. It’s about the fact that the whole world, the whole universe just looks so much more beautiful!! All of a sudden everything looks different and your heart will just start smiling. That’s what love is all about… the moment someone you only “liked” before, changes into the most aesthetically pleasing girl in the world. The moment you realize how blind you’ve been all those days, how you were living in a fake universe, never knowing that the only thing your life is all about, the only thing that keeps you smiling, was all the time right next to you.
Tom Hiddleston
The most lovely moving picture actor, considered in the light of genuine aesthetic values, is no more than a piece of vulgarity; his like is to be found, not in the Uffizi gallery or among the harmonies of Brahms, but among the plush sofas, rococo clocks and hand-painted oil-paintings of a third-rate auction room.
H.L. Mencken (In Defense of Women)
A collection of bad love songs, tattered from overuse, has to touch us like a cemetery or a village. So what if the houses have no style, if the graves are vanishing under tasteless ornaments and inscriptions? Before an imagination sympathetic and respectful enough to conceal momentarily its aesthetic disdain, that dust may release a flock of souls, their beaks holding the still verdant dreams that gave them an inkling of the next world and let them rejoice or weep in this world.
Marcel Proust (The Complete Short Stories of Marcel Proust)
Romance and romantic are different. Death, itself, can be romantic. Nature and a destructive snowstorm can be romantic. Lovers in love but giving that up can also be romantic. There is something aesthetically romantic in beauty itself. And beauty can even be pain. Therefore, pain is romantic, especially when the sufferer does so for love.
R.B. O'Brien
My profanity has an aesthetic.
Sherman Alexie (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
Bread cannot feed the addicts of beauty.
Raheel Farooq
Everything good is good because of the love it contains.
John K. Brown
I am a lifetime of exploration You have a lifetime to spend wandering
Rhiley Jade (Drowning in Starlight)
Driving to pick up his son, Bennie alternated between the Sleepers and the Dead Kennedys, San Francisco bands he'd grown up with. He listened for muddiness, the sense of actual musicians playing actual instruments in an actual room. Nowadays the quality (if it existed at all) was usually an effect of analogue signaling rather than bona fide tape - everything was an effect in the bloodless constructions Bennie and his peers were churning out. He worked tirelessly, feverishly, to get things right, stay on top, make songs that people would love and buy and download as ring tones (and steal, of course) - above all, to satisfy the multinational crude-oil extractors he'd sold his label to five years ago. But Bennie knew that what he was bringing into the world was shit. Too clear, too clean. The problem was precision, perfection; the problem was digitization, which sucked the life out of everything that got smeared through its microscopic mesh. Film, photography, music: dead. An aesthetic holocaust!
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
I believe that a new philosophy will be created by those who were born after Hiroshima which will dramatically change the human condition. It will have these characteristics: (1) It will be scientific in essence and science-fiction in style. (2) It will be based on the expansion of consciousness, understanding and control of the nervous system, producing a quantum leap in intellectual efficiency and emotional equilibrium. (3) Politically it will stress individualism, decentralization of authority, a Iive-and-let-Iive tolerance of difference, local option and a mind-your-own-business libertarianism. (4) It will continue the trend towards open sexual expression and a more honest, realistic acceptance of both the equality of and the magnetic difference between the sexes. The mythic religious symbol will not be a man on a cross but a man-woman pair united in higher love communion. (5) It will seek revelation and Higher Intelligence not in formal rituals addressed to an anthropomorphic deity, but within natural processes, the nervous system, the genetic code, and without, in attempts to effect extra-planetary communication. (6) It will include practical, technical neurological psychological procedures for understanding and managing the intimations of union-immortality implicit in the dying process. (7) The emotional tone of the new philosophy will be hedonic, aesthetic, fearless, optimistic, humorous, practical, skeptical, hip. We are now experiencing a quiescent preparatory waiting period. Everyone knows something is going to happen. The seeds of the Sixties have taken root underground. The blossoming is to come.
Timothy Leary (Neuropolitique (Revised))
I am completely an elitist in the cultural but emphatically not the social sense. I prefer the good to the bad, the articulate to the mumbling, the aesthetically developed to the merely primitive, and full to partial consciousness. I love the spectacle of skill, whether it's an expert gardener at work or a good carpenter chopping dovetails. I don't think stupid or ill-read people are as good to be with as wise and fully literate ones. I would rather watch a great tennis player than a mediocre one, unless the latter is a friend or a relative. Consequently, most of the human race doesn't matter much to me, outside the normal and necessary frame of courtesy and the obligation to respect human rights. I see no reason to squirm around apologizing for this. I am, after all, a cultural critic, and my main job is to distinguish the good from the second-rate, pretentious, sentimental, and boring stuff that saturates culture today, more (perhaps) than it ever has. I hate populist [shit], no matter how much the demos love it.
Robert Hughes (The Spectacle of Skill: New and Selected Writings of Robert Hughes)
But desire must also be cultivated; the beautiful does not always immediately commend itself to every taste; Christ's beauty, like that of Isaiah's suffering servant, is not expressed in vacuous comeliness or shadowless glamor, but calls for a love that is charitable, that is not dismayed by distance or mystery, and that can repent of its failure to see; this is to acquire what Augustine calls a taste for the beauty of God (Soliloquia 1.3-14). Once this taste is learned, divine beauty, as Gregory of Nyssa says, inflames desire, drawing one on into an endless epektasis, a stretching out toward an ever greater embrace of divine glory. And,
David Bentley Hart (The Beauty Of The Infinite: The Aesthetics Of Christian Truth)
It's the people who have a problem with porn—even a simple aesthetic revulsion at the shaved and implanted phoniness of it all—who are suspect now, and who have to prove their normality by insisting that they 'like sex', as if sex were all one thing, like oatmeal. Imagine if you said, Yes, I like sex, with the right person, in the right place, in the right mood, preferably after a lovely meal cooked by someone else; otherwise, frankly, I'd rather get on with Daniel Deronda. You'd sound like a fetishist, someone who needs outlandish props and sets to feel excited—food! wit! clean sheets! affection!— because excited is the way porn tells us people feel all the time.
Katha Pollitt (Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories)
...the story of liberty and its future is not only about the raw assertion of rights but also about grace, aesthetics, beauty, complexity, service to others, community, the gradual emergence of cultural norms, and the spontaneous development of extended orders of commercial and private relationships. Freedom is what gives life to the human imagination and enables the working out of love as it extends from our most benevolent and highest longings.
Jeffrey Tucker
What is there about fire that's so lovely? No matter what age we are, what draws us to it?" Beatty blew out the flame and lit it again. "It's perpetual motion; the thing man wanted to invent but never did. Or almost perpetual motion. If you let it go on, it'd burn our lifetimes out. What is fire? It's a mystery. Scientists give us gobbledegook about friction and molecules. But they don't really know. Its real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences. A problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it. Now, Montag, you're a burden. And fire will lift you off my shoulders, clean, quick, sure; nothing to rot later. Antibiotic, aesthetic, practical.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
It didn’t occur to me that there was something decidedly odd in finding a box of razor blades aesthetically appealing. I wonder if a heroin addict loves the elegant simplicity of the needle, if a drinker romances the curve and shape of the bottle.
Caroline Kettlewell
She had been crying after a routine row with her mother and, as had happened on former occasions, had not wished me to see her swollen eyes: she had one of those tender complexions that after a good cry get all blurred and inflamed, and morbidly alluring. I regretted keenly her mistake about my private aesthetics, for I simply love that tinge of Botticellian pink [3], that raw rose about the lips, those wet, matted eyelashes; and, naturally, her bashful whim deprived me of many opportunities of specious consolation.
Vladimir Nabokov (The Annotated Lolita)
No muscles without strength, friendship without trust, opinion without consequence, change without aesthetics, age without values, life without effort, water without thirst, food without nourishment, love without sacrifice, power without fairness, facts without rigor, statistics without logic, mathematics without proof, teaching without experience, politeness without warmth, values without embodiment, degrees without erudition, militarism without fortitude, progress without civilization, friendship without investment, virtue without risk, probability without ergodicity, wealth without exposure, complication without depth, fluency without content, decision without asymmetry, science without skepticism, religion without tolerance, and, most of all: nothing without skin in the game.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life)
Number 23 had plenty of redeeming qualities that made falling for him a justifiable accident. But our connection had nothing to do with our similarities, our differences, our aesthetic attractions, or our emotional and physical needs. When we spoke, he was truly with me. Our egos, our personas, expected social cues, the facades that everyone builds around them that are supposed to sculpt the way the world sees us, were stripped with Number 23 and I. He was immediately my best friend, familiar and safe - an epiphany that I had been spending my life alone in crowded rooms. Our souls were naked. We initially curled into the warmth of that connection. But once we knew how real it was, we felt exposed, vulnerable, and raw. While his defense was his fearful recoil, mine was dictation.
Maggie Georgiana Young (Just Another Number)
Even the girl he'd danced with had thought it was some marvelous trick. She had been enveloped in real, bright fire and she had tipped back her head and laughed, the tumble of her black hair becoming a crackling waterfall of light, the heels of her shoes striking sparks like glittering leaping dust all over the floor, her skirt trailing flame as if he were following a phoenix tail. Magnus had spun and swung with her, and she'd thought he was marvelous for a single moment of bright illusion. But, like love, fire didn't last.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
This book is the synthesis of, on one hand, the no-nonsense practitioner of uncertainty who spent his professional life trying to resist being fooled by randomness and trick the emotions associated with probabilistic outcomes and, on the other, the aesthetically obsessed, literature-loving human being willing to be fooled by any form of nonsense that is polished, refined, original, and tasteful. I am not capable of avoiding being the fool of randomness; what I can do is confine it to where it brings some aesthetic gratification.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets)
Man is made of thought, of will and of love: he can think truth or error, he can will good or evil, he can love beauty or ugliness. Now thought of the true — or knowledge of the real — demands on the one hand willing of the good and on the other love of the beautiful, hence virtue, for virtue is none other than beauty of soul; that is why the Greeks, who were aesthetes as well as thinkers, included virtue within philosophy. Without beauty of soul, all willing is sterile, it is petty and closes itself to grace; and in an analogous manner: without effort of will, all spiritual thought ultimately remains superficial and ineffectual and leads to pretension. Virtue coincides with a sensibility proportioned — or conformed — to the Truth, and that is why the soul of the sage soars above things and thereby above itself, if one may put it thus; whence the disinterestedness, nobleness and generosity of great souls. Quite clearly, the consciousness of metaphysical principles cannot go hand in hand with moral pettiness, such as ambition and hypocrisy : "Be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.
Frithjof Schuon (Survey Of Metaphysics And Esoterism)
The theological perspective of participation actually saves the appearances by exceeding them. It recognizes that materialism and spiritualism are false alternatives, since if there is only finite matter there is not even that, and that for phenomena really to be there they must be more than there. Hence, by appealing to an eternal source for bodies, their art, language, sexual and political union, one is not ethereally taking leave of their density. On the contrary, one is insisting that behind this density resides an even greater density – beyond all contrasts of density and lightness (as beyond all contrasts of definition and limitlessness). This is to say that all there is only is because it is more than it is. (...) This perspective should in many ways be seen as undercutting some of the contrasts between theological liberals and conservatives. The former tend to validate what they see as the modern embrace of our finitude – as language, and as erotic and aesthetically delighting bodies, and so forth. Conservatives, however, seem still to embrace a sort of nominal ethereal distancing from these realities and a disdain for them. Radical orthodoxy, by contrast, sees the historic root of the celebration of these things in participatory philosophy and incarnational theology, even if it can acknowledge that premodern tradition never took this celebration far enough. The modern apparent embrace of the finite it regards as, on inspection, illusory, since in order to stop the finite vanishing modernity must construe it as a spatial edifice bound by clear laws, rules and lattices. If, on the other hand, following the postmodern options, it embraces the flux of things, this is an empty flux both concealing and revealing an ultimate void. Hence, modernity has oscillated between puritanism (sexual or otherwise) and an entirely perverse eroticism, which is in love with death and therefore wills the death also of the erotic, and does not preserve the erotic as far as an eternal consummation. In a bizarre way, it seems that modernity does not really want what it thinks it wants; but on the other hand, in order to have what it thinks it wants, it would have to recover the theological. Thereby, of course, it would discover also that that which it desires is quite other than it has supposed
John Milbank (Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology)
If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” I also love the way Joyce Carol Oates puts it: “To examine the mind of the serial killer is to examine the human mind in extremis, and should anything ‘human’ be alien to us? Where the ‘human’ crosses over into the ‘monstrous’ is after all a matter of law, theology, or aesthetic taste.
Tori Telfer (Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History)
None of the ginkgo's aesthetic qualities are all that different from those of other trees. I could just as easily wax poetic about the beauty of beech trees, or the majesty of ancient sugar pines. But I think that ginkgos are just unusual enough for the occasional human to take notice of them. It's not that any particular tree or breed of dog or varietal or rose is objectively superior to its peers, they just happen to be the creatures that momentarily capture our flickering attention. As soon as humans take open-hearted notice of anything in the natural world, we find reason to love it.
Nathanael Johnson (Unseen City: The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness)
Naomi Wolfe, journalist and author of The Beauty Myth, writes, “A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in history. A quietly mad population is a tractable one.”31 Wolfe strategically illustrates how body-shame social messaging is used as a means of controlling and centralizing political power. We need look no further than the 2016 U.S. presidential election to see Wolfe’s thesis in action. Candidate Hillary Clinton was exhaustingly scrutinized about her aesthetic presentation. Outfits, makeup, hairstyles were all fodder for the twenty-four-hour news cycle. Even the pro-Hillary, hundred-thousand-plus-member Facebook group Pantsuit Nation chose her penchant for eschewing skirts and dresses as the name of their collective, inadvertently directing public focus to her physical appearance rather than her decades of political experience.
Sonya Renee Taylor (The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love)
The Art of Living is to be yourself. It is to be true to yourself. The Art of Living is learning to live with love, awareness and truth. Meditation is the way to learn The Art of Living. Being is you. To discover your being is the beginning of life. You can live in two ways: 1. Ego - effort and desire and 2.Being - no-effort, being in a let go with existence. Religion is The Art of Living. Five keys to The Art of Living: 1. Be life-affirmative. Life is synonymous with God. Live with reverence, great respect and gratitude for life. Feel thankful and prayerful. 2. Make life an heartful, aesthetic experience. Become more sensitive, sensuous and creative - and you will become more spiritual. 3.Experience life in all possible ways. Experience all dualities and polarities of life: good/bad, bitter/sweet, summer/winter, happiness/sadness and life/death. Do not be afraid of experience, because the more experiences you have, the more spiritually mature you become. 4. Live in the present. Forget the past and the future - this moment is the only reality. This moment has to become your whole love, life and death. 5.Live courageously. Do not become too result-oriented, because result-oriented people miss life. Do not think of goals, because goals are in the future - and life is in the moment, in the here and now.
Swami Dhyan Giten
There are those who maintain that you can't demand anything of the reader. They say the reader knows nothing about art, and that if you are going to reach him, you have to be humble enough to descend to his level. This supposes either that the aim of art is to teach, which it is not, or that to create anything which is simply a good-in-itself is a waste of time. Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it. We hear a great deal about humility being required to lower oneself, but it requires an equal humility and a real love of the truth to raise oneself and by hard labor to acquire higher standards.
Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose)
It’s no one’s fault really,” he continued. “A big city cannot afford to have its attention distracted from the important job of being a big city by such a tiny, unimportant item as your happiness or mine.” This came out of him easily, assuredly, and I was suddenly interested. On closer inspection there was something aesthetic and scholarly about him, something faintly professorial. He knew I was with him, listening, and his grey eyes were kind with offered friendliness. He continued: “Those tall buildings there are more than monuments to the industry, thought and effort which have made this a great city; they also occasionally serve as springboards to eternity for misfits who cannot cope with the city and their own loneliness in it.” He paused and said something about one of the ducks which was quite unintelligible to me. “A great city is a battlefield,” he continued. “You need to be a fighter to live in it, not exist, mark you, live. Anybody can exist, dragging his soul around behind him like a worn-out coat; but living is different. It can be hard, but it can also be fun; there’s so much going on all the time that’s new and exciting.” I could not, nor wished to, ignore his pleasant voice, but I was in no mood for his philosophising. “If you were a negro you’d find that even existing would provide more excitement than you’d care for.” He looked at me and suddenly laughed; a laugh abandoned and gay, a laugh rich and young and indescribably infectious. I laughed with him, although I failed to see anything funny in my remark. “I wondered how long it would be before you broke down and talked to me,” he said, when his amusement had quietened down. “Talking helps, you know; if you can talk with someone you’re not lonely any more, don’t you think?” As simple as that. Soon we were chatting away unreservedly, like old friends, and I had told him everything. “Teaching,” he said presently. “That’s the thing. Why not get a job as a teacher?” “That’s rather unlikely,” I replied. “I have had no training as a teacher.” “Oh, that’s not absolutely necessary. Your degrees would be considered in lieu of training, and I feel sure that with your experience and obvious ability you could do well.” “Look here, Sir, if these people would not let me near ordinary inanimate equipment about which I understand quite a bit, is it reasonable to expect them to entrust the education of their children to me?” “Why not? They need teachers desperately.” “It is said that they also need technicians desperately.” “Ah, but that’s different. I don’t suppose educational authorities can be bothered about the colour of people’s skins, and I do believe that in that respect the London County Council is rather outstanding. Anyway, there would be no need to mention it; let it wait until they see you at the interview.” “I’ve tried that method before. It didn’t work.” “Try it again, you’ve nothing to lose. I know for a fact that there are many vacancies for teachers in the East End of London.” “Why especially the East End of London?” “From all accounts it is rather a tough area, and most teachers prefer to seek jobs elsewhere.” “And you think it would be just right for a negro, I suppose.” The vicious bitterness was creeping back; the suspicion was not so easily forgotten. “Now, just a moment, young man.” He was wonderfully patient with me, much more so than I deserved. “Don’t ever underrate the people of the East End; from those very slums and alleyways are emerging many of the new breed of professional and scientific men and quite a few of our politicians. Be careful lest you be a worse snob than the rest of us. Was this the kind of spirit in which you sought the other jobs?
E.R. Braithwaite (To Sir, With Love)
But they had been down on all fours naked, not touching except their lips right down there on the floor where the tie is pointing to, on all fours like (uh huh, go on, say it) like dogs. Nibbling at each other, not even touching, not even looking at each other, just their lips, and when I opened the door they didn't even look for a minute and I thought the reason they are not looking up is because they are not doing that. So it's all right. I am just standing here. They are not doing that. I am just standing here and seeing it, but they are not really doing it. But then they did look up. Or you did. You did, Jude. ... And I did not know how to move my feet or fix my eyes or what. I just stood there seeing it and smiling, because maybe there was some explanation, something important that I did not know about that would have made it all right. I waited for Sula to look up at me any minute and say one of those lovely college words like aesthetic or rapport, which I never understood but which I loved because they sounded so comfortable and firm. And finally you just got up and started putting clothes on and your privates were hanging down, so soft, and you buckled your pants but forgot to button the fly and she was sitting on the bed not even bothering to put on her clothes because actually she didn't need to because somehow she didn't look naked to me, only you did. Her chin was in her hand and she sat like a visitor from out of town waiting for the hosts to get some quarreling done and over with so the card game could continue and me wanting her to leave so I could tell you privately that you had forgotten to button your fly because I didn't want to say it in front of her, Jude. And even when you began to talk, I couldn't hear because I was worried about you not knowing that your fly was open ... Remember how big that bedroom was, Jude? How when we moved here we said, Well, at least we got us a real big bedroom, but it was small then, Jude, and so shambly and maybe it was that way all along but it would have been better if I had gotten all the dust out from under the bed because I was ashamed of it in that small room. And you walked past me saying, "I'll be back for my things." And you did but you left your tie.
Toni Morrison (Sula)
Satanism, in principle, is a perverse projection of the Law into matter. Therefore, even this path has its aesthetic elements. For there are also artists of evil, artists who can give flowing blood the magic of a crimson evening afterglow—adepts of delusion, who with a mere sight, evoke the seductive song of Death and loathsome orgies turn into a wild cascade of ardent memories.
Pierre de Lasenic (Sexual Mysteries: Oriental Love & Sexual Magic (Czech Hermetics, Vol. 1))
They shared much with Bloomsbury, including love of beauty, companionship, and conversation, but they differed from their older London counterpart in their religious ardor, their social conservatism, and their embrace of fantasy, myth, and (mostly) conventional literary techniques instead of those dazzling experiments with time, character, narrative, and language that mark the modernist aesthetic.
Philip Zaleski (The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams)
In the course of my life I have had pre-pubescent ballerinas; emaciated duchesses, dolorous and forever tired, melomaniac and morphine-sodden; bankers' wives with eyes hollower than those of suburban streetwalkers; music-hall chorus girls who tip creosote into their Roederer when getting drunk... I have even had the awkward androgynes, the unsexed dishes of the day of the *tables d'hote* of Montmartre. Like any vulgar follower of fashion, like any member of the herd, I have made love to bony and improbably slender little girls, frightened and macabre, spiced with carbolic and peppered with chlorotic make-up. Like an imbecile, I have believed in the mouths of prey and sacrificial victims. Like a simpleton, I have believed in the large lewd eyes of a ragged heap of sickly little creatures: alcoholic and cynical shop girls and whores. The profundity of their eyes and the mystery of their mouths... the jewellers of some and the manicurists of others furnish them with *eaux de toilette*, with soaps and rouges. And Fanny the etheromaniac, rising every morning for a measured dose of cola and coca, does not put ether only on her handkerchief. It is all fakery and self-advertisement - *truquage and battage*, as their vile argot has it. Their phosphorescent rottenness, their emaciated fervour, their Lesbian blight, their shop-sign vices set up to arouse their clients, to excite the perversity of young and old men alike in the sickness of perverse tastes! All of it can sparkle and catch fire only at the hour when the gas is lit in the corridors of the music-halls and the crude nickel-plated decor of the bars. Beneath the cerise three-ply collars of the night-prowlers, as beneath the bulging silks of the cyclist, the whole seductive display of passionate pallor, of knowing depravity, of exhausted and sensual anaemia - all the charm of spicy flowers celebrated in the writings of Paul Bourget and Maurice Barres - is nothing but a role carefully learned and rehearsed a hundred times over. It is a chapter of the MANCHON DE FRANCINE read over and over again, swotted up and acted out by ingenious barnstormers, fully conscious of the squalid salacity of the male of the species, and knowledgeable in the means of starting up the broken-down engines of their customers. To think that I also have loved these maleficent and sick little beasts, these fake Primaveras, these discounted Jocondes, the whole hundred-franc stock-in-trade of Leonardos and Botticellis from the workshops of painters and the drinking-dens of aesthetes, these flowers mounted on a brass thread in Montparnasse and Levallois-Perret! And the odious and tiresome travesty - the corsetted torso slapped on top of heron's legs, painful to behold, the ugly features primed by boulevard boxes, the fake Dresden of Nina Grandiere retouched from a medicine bottle, complaining and spectral at the same time - of Mademoiselle Guilbert and her long black gloves!... Have I now had enough of the horror of this nightmare! How have I been able to tolerate it for so long? The fact is that I was then ignorant even of the nature of my sickness. It was latent in me, like a fire smouldering beneath the ashes. I have cherished it since... perhaps since early childhood, for it must always have been in me, although I did not know it!
Jean Lorrain (Monsieur De Phocas)
It is ironical that for all the value we give to the rational, life is primarily governed by the irrational. Love is not rational. Sorrow is not rational. Hatred, ambition, rage and greed are irrational. Even ethics, morals and aesthetics are not rational. They depend on values and standards which are ultimately subjective. What is right, sacred and beautiful to one group of people need not be right, sacred and beautiful to another group of people.
Devdutt Pattanaik (Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology)
Even a colour-sense is more important, in the development of the individual, than a sense of right and wrong. Aesthetics, in fact, are to Ethics in the sphere of conscious civilisation, what, in the sphere of the external world, sexual is to natural selection. Ethics, like natural selection, make existence possible. Aesthetics, like sexual selection, make life lovely and wonderful, fill it with new forms, and give it progress, and variety and change.
Oscar Wilde (The Critic as Artist)
The goal of all principled people is to recognize truth. Simple or complex thoughts and feelings standing alone rarely express any universal truths. Thoughts and feelings combine to create profound truths and compose extravagant falsities. Truth making exposes certain falsehoods, and lies shed light upon irrefutable truths. Art reveals the pageantry of nature along with the unmitigated grotesqueness that accompanies an earthly life. The search for truth begins with an intellectual journey into darkness whereas the search for beauty requires an imaginative act trussed with the classical beauty of Apollonian lightness. Aesthetic appreciation represents the perfect reconciliation of the sensual and rational parts of humankind’s animalistic nature. Similar to aesthetic experience – contemplation of beauty without imposition of a worldly agenda – love depends upon human sensory-emotional values, a judgement of values and sentiments.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
. . . Yes, I’m an aesthete. I like beauty. Yes – poor countries are beautiful. Poor people are beautiful. It’s a wonderful feeling to have money in a country where most people are poor, to ride in a taxi through horrible slums. Yes – a beggar can be beautiful. A beggar can have beautiful lips, beautiful eyes. You’re far from home. To you, her simple shawl seems elegant, direct, the right way to dress. You see her approaching from a great distance. She’s old, thin, and yes, she looks sick, very sick, near death. But her face is beautiful – seductive, luminous. You like her – you’re drawn to her. Yes, you think – there’s money in your purse – you’ll give her some of it. And a voice says – Why not all of it? Why not give her all you have? Be careful, that’s a question that could poison your life. Your love of beauty could actually kill you. If you hear that question, it means you’re sick. You’re mentally sick. You’ve had a breakdown.
Wallace Shawn (The Fever)
the Japanese art of kintsugi, or “golden joinery,” a method of repairing cracked pottery with a vein of lacquer mixed with gold or silver. A plausible origin story dates this art to the fifteenth century, when Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke his favorite tea bowl and sent it back to China to be repaired. It was returned with ugly metal staples, prompting the shogun to order his craftsmen to find a more aesthetic means of repair. I love the idea that an accident can be an occasion to make something more delightful, not less so.
Ingrid Fetell Lee (Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness)
I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did. On the other hand, novels which are works of the imagination, though not of a very high order, have been for years a wonderful relief and pleasure to me, and I often bless all novelists. A surprising number have been read aloud to me, and I like all if moderately good, and if they do not end unhappily–against which a law ought to be passed. A novel, according to my taste, does not come into the first class unless it contains some person whom one can thoroughly love, and if a pretty woman all the better. This curious and lamentable loss of the higher aesthetic tastes is all the odder, as books on history, biographies, and travels (independently of any scientific facts which they may contain), and essays on all sorts of subjects interest me as much as ever they did. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. A man with a mind more highly organised or better constituted than mine, would not, I suppose, have thus suffered; and if I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
Charles Darwin (Autobiography Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Descent of Man A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World Coral Reefs Voyage of the Beagle Origin of Species Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals)
In those hours I began to realize that izzat, honor, was an aesthetic idea more than a moral idea. It was a way of carrying yourself, the bluster of claiming to go to any length for your relatives, to love and be loved more than others loved and were loved. But while it purported to be fundamentally about others, it was really about oneself: about one's own marvelous virtue and the elaborate public demonstration of it. The same person who honored you by preparing meat, or inviting you to sleep in his house, had little conception of what it meant to make a promise to you, to keep his word, to empathize.
Anand Giridharadas (India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking)
If the early English and LA punk bands shared a common sound, the New York bands just shared the same clubs. As such, while the English scene never became known as the '100 Club' sound, CBGBs was the solitary common component in the New York bands' development, transcended once they had outgrown the need to play the club. Even their supposed musical heritage was not exactly common -- the Ramones preferring the Dolls/Stooges to Television's Velvets/Coltrane to Blondie's Stones/Brit-Rock. Though the scene had been built up as a single movement, when commercial implications began to sink in, the differences that separated the bands became far more important than the similarities which had previously bound them together. In the two years following the summer 1975 festival, CBGBs had become something of an ideological battleground, if not between the bands then between their critical proponents. The divisions between a dozen bands, all playing the same club, all suffering the same hardships, all sharing the same love of certain central bands in the history of rock & roll, should not have been that great. But the small scene very quickly partitioned into art-rockers and exponents of a pure let's-rock aesthetic.
Clinton Heylin (From the Velvets to the Voidoids: A Pre-Punk History for a Post-Punk World)
Precedent forces us to suppose that later generations will one day walk around our houses with the same attitude of horror and amusement with which we now consider many of the possessions of the dead. They will marvel at our wallpapers and our sofas and laugh at aesthetic crimes to which we are impervious. This awareness can lend to our affections a fragile, nervous quality. Knowing that what we now love may in the future, for reasons beyond our current understanding, appear absurd is as hard to bear in the context of a piece of furniture in a shop as it is in the context of a prospective spouse at an altar.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
How could she even think what she’s thinking? Alessandro wondered silently as he watched Brianna glare pure murder at the misguided Gertie smiling up at him. Alessandro cocked an amused eyebrow and gave her a polite smile when he noticed the look on Brianna’s face. Didn’t she know that if it weren’t for all these people, Alessandro would drag her onto the bar and fuck her madly? As it was, his body had maintained its state of semi arousal for most of the morning and into this late afternoon. He was half-tempted to drag her into the nearest closet. And she was jealous. Alessandro wanted to laugh at the ridiculous notion. While he could still appreciate the beauty of young Gertie on an aesthetic level, Brianna really had ruined him for other women. If anything, the fact that she had carried his son in her body, given birth to his child, made his primal need and want of her all that more intense. Alessandro considered himself sophisticated and well-schooled in the ways of women and how to seduce them. With Brianna, he just wanted. Her strength, her heart, her passion, her courage, all coupled with a body that kept him hard as a rock for more time than was surely healthy, created the only woman he would ever love. Ever.
E. Jamie (The Betrayal (Blood Vows, #2))
And is not all of life material- based on the material- permeated by the material? Should not one learn, gladly, to utilize the beauty of the fine material? I do not speak of the gross crudities of soporific television, of loud brash convertibles and vulgar display- but rather of grace and line and refinement- and there are wonderful and exciting things that only money can buy, such as theater tickets, books, paintings, travel, lovely clothes- and why deny them when one can have them? The only problem is to work, to stay awake mentally and physically, and NEVER become mentally, physically, spiritually flabby or over complacent!
Elizabeth Winder (Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953)
Here’s how my theory goes. We writers are up to the following: We build tensions toward laughter, then give permission, and laughter comes. We build tensions toward sorrow, and at last say cry, and hope to see our audience in tears. We build tensions toward violence, light the fuse, and run. We build the strange tensions of love, where so many of the other tensions mix to be modified and transcended, and allow that fruition in the mind of the audience. We build tensions, especially today, toward sickness and then, if we are good enough, talented enough, observant enough, allow our audiences to be sick. Each tension seeks its own proper end, release, and relaxation. No tension, it follows, aesthetically as well as practically, must be built which remains unreleased. Without this, any art ends incomplete, halfway to its goal. And in real life, as we know, the failure to relax a particular tension can lead to madness. There are seeming exceptions to this, in which novels or plays end at the height of tension, but the release is implied. The audience is asked to go forth into the world and explode an idea. The final action is passed on from creator to reader-viewer whose job it is to finish off the laughter, the tears, the violence, the sexuality, or the sickness.
Ray Bradbury (Zen in The Art of Writing)
Well, there is a piece of famous advice, grand advice even if it is German, to forget what you can't bear. The strong can forget, can shut out history. Very good. Even if it is self-flattery to speak of strength--these aesthetic philosophers, they take a posture, but power sweeps postures away. Still, it's true you can't go on transposing one nightmare into another, Nietzsche was certainly right about that. The tender-minded must harden themselves. Is this world nothing but a barren lump of coke? No, no, but what sometimes seems a system of prevention, a denial of what every human being knows. I love my children, but I am the world to them, and bring them nightmares. I had this child by my enemy. And I love her. The sight of her, the odor of her hair, this minute, makes me tremble with love. Isn't it mysterious how I love the child of my enemy? But a man doesn't need happiness for himself. No, he can put up with any amount of torment--with recollections, with his own familiar evils, despair. And this is the unwritten history of man, his unseen, negative accomplishment, his power to do without gratification for himself provided there is something great, something into which his being, and all beings can go. He does not need meaning as long as such intensity has scope. Because then it is self-evident; it is meaning.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
No, you have been brought up with the lies that books have told you, and granted they are far more comforting and aesthetically pleasing than the truth. I will not rip the illusion from you. Keep it, hold it, love it, let it give solace on dark days. Let the truth die a noble death, with no marker, no troubadours singing its songs, no glorious parades or the trotting out of its many lustrous icons on saint days. Let the truth die with the man who holds it. If there was anything I learned while teaching, it is that truth is overrated. The lies are just as, if not more, beautiful and poetic. And after centuries, if the lies have survived, they become the truth, as such.
Kane X. Faucher (The Infinite Library)
Time for an exercise, which I shall call 'Say It Out Loud With Miranda'. Please take a moment to sit back, breathe and intone: 'I am taking myself seriously as a woman.' Note your response. If you're reading this on the bus, or surreptitiously in the cinema, or in any other public scenario, then please note other people's responses. (If you are male, and teenaged, and reading this in a room with other teenage boys, then for your own safety I advise you not to participate.) The rest of you – what comes to mind when you say those words? Is it a fine lady scientist, a ballsy young anarchist with tights on her head or a feminist intellectual from the 1970s nose-down in Simone de Beauvoir? Or is it what I think my friend meant when she said 'woman' which is really 'aesthetic object'. Clothes-horse. Show pony. General beautiful piece of well-groomed stuff that's lovely to look at? I reckon, to my great dismay, that she did indeed mean the latter. And in saying that I don't take myself seriously in this regard her assessment of me is absolutely bang-on. If taking oneself seriously as a woman means committing to a like of grooming, pumicing, pruning and polishing one's exterior for the benefit of onlookers, then I may as well heave my unwieldy rucksack to the top of a bleak Scottish hill and make my home there under a stone, where I'll fashion shoes out of mud and clothes out of leaves.
Miranda Hart (Is It Just Me?)
Mestre. Say the word without hissing the conurbated villain, and pitying its citizens. As quickly as they can, two million tourists pass through, or by, Mestre each year, and each one will be struck by the same thought as they wonder at the aesthetic opposition that it represents. Mestre is an ugly town but ugly only in the same way that Michael Jackson might be desccribed as eccentric or a Tabasco Vindaloo flambéed in rocket fuel might be described as warm. Mestre is almost excremental in its hideousness: a fetid, fly-blown, festering, industrial urbanization, scarred with varicose motorways, flyovers, rusting railway sidings and the rubbish of a billion holidaymakers gradually burning, spewing thick black clouds into the Mediterranean sky. A town with apparently no centre, a utilitarian ever-expandable wasteland adapted to house the displaced poor, the shorebound, outpriced, domicile-deprived exiles from its neighbouring city. For, just beyond the condom- and polystyrene-washed, black-stained, mud shores of Marghera, Mestre's very own oil refinery, less than a mile away across the waters of the lagoon in full sight of its own dispossessed citizens, is the Jewel of Adriatic. Close enough for all to feel the magnetism, there stands the most beautiful icon of Renaissance glory and, like so much that can attract tourism, a place too lovely to be left in the hands of its natives, the Serenissima itself, Venice.
Marius Brill (Making Love: A Conspiracy of the Heart)
We cannot prove that life is meaningful and that God exists. But neither can we prove that love is better than hate, altruism than selfishness, forgiveness than the desire for revenge. We cannot prove that the hope is truer to experience than the tragic sense of life. Almost none of the truths by which we live are provable, and the desire to prove them is based on a monumental confusion between explanation and interpretation. Explanations can be proved, interpretations cannot. Science deals in explanation. Meaning is always a matter of interpretation. It belongs to the same territory as ethics, aesthetics and metaphysics. In none of these three disciplines can anything of consequence be proved, but that does not make them insignificant. To the contrary, they represent three of the greatest repositories of human wisdom.
Jonathan Sacks (The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning)
The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, “although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,” wrote Orwell, tends to be “uninterested in what happens in the real world.” Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism “has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.” A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
The idea is to intentionally design a relaxing environment that is off-limits to many of the stresses and distractions that define your waking hours. Begin with aesthetics, making an effort to keep your bedroom neat and attractive. In other words, aim for Southern Living in your private quarters even if the rest of your house looks like Mechanics Weekly. Then begin to work on behaviors, keeping your bedroom off-limits to activities other than sleeping, relaxing, or making love. Nix the stacks of unpaid bills, piles of dirty laundry, collections of unread newspapers, and file folders from the office. By fostering this kind of space, seemingly untouched by the nitty gritty of daily life, you will have created a quiet haven where-by simply stepping inside and closing the door behind you-you can take a mini-vacation from stress. This time can then be used to pray, to relax, or to lavish your undivided romantic attentions on your husband.
William R. Cutrer (Sexual Intimacy in Marriage)
Of course one’s sense of identification with the nation is inflected by all kinds of particulars, including one’s class, race, gender, and sexual identification. … But [regarding] national character …, aside from references to a national aesthetic — literary, musical, and choreographic, there are two poles I reference: minimalist and maximalist. I love them both — the cryptic poems of Emily Dickinson folded up in tiny packets and hidden away in a box, the sparse, understated choreographies of Merce; but also the “trashy, profane and obscene” poems of Whitman and Ginsberg, [and] Martha Graham’s expressionism. I am, myself, a minimalist. But I love distortion guitar and the wild exhibitionism of so many American artists. Also, these divisions are false. Emily Dickinson, in fact, can be as trashy and obscene as the best of them! Anyway, Dickinson and Whitman are at the heart of this narrative. They are the Dancing Queen and the Guitar Hero.
Barbara Browning
And while I’m reading, the new words I’m taking in will connect to others already taken in. That reference to blue is the third this chapter, and it always goes with wealth. That phrase is from the poem earlier. Deeper. That’s a reference to the myth of Orpheus. That’s a pairing of two words that don’t usually go together. Wider. That’s a symbol Dickens employs often. That typifies Said’s writings on Orientalism. Points of light. They make a map, or a pattern, or a constellation. Formless, intricate, infinitely complex, and lovely. And then, at once, they’ll connect. They’ll meet, and explode. Of course. That’s the entire point. That’s how the story works, the way each sentence and metaphor and reference feeds into the other to illuminate something important. That explosion of discovery, of understanding, is the most intoxicating moment there is. Emotional, intellectual, aesthetic. Just for a moment, a perfect moment, a small piece of the world makes perfect sense.
H.G. Parry (The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep)
I love football. I love the aesthetics of football. I love the athleticism of football. I love the movement of the players, the antics of the coaches. I love the dynamism of the fans. I love their passion for their badge and the colour of their team and their country. I love the noise and the buzz and the electricity in the stadium. I love the songs. I love the way the ball moves and then it flows and the way a teams fortune rises and falls through a game and through a season. But what I love about football is that it brings people together across religious divides, geographic divides, political divides. I love the fact that for ninety minutes in a rectangular piece of grass, people can forget hopefully, whatever might be going on in their life, and rejoice in this communal celebration of humanity. The biggest diverse, invasive or pervasive culture that human kinds knows is football and I love the fact that at the altar of football human kind can come worship and celebrate.
Andy Harper
My new love poem about black girls How amazingly beautiful is the star brilliance of your amazing dark skin, regal skin color, for women it goes more than anything in the world, it decorates them as the most valuable decoration in the world, more expensive and more luxurious than it is in the world, this amazing color poetizes and praises their divine beauty. How sweet and gentle is its color, how beautifully it glitters in the light showing all indescribable beauty, all these beautiful overflows of skin tones are so beautiful as the brilliance of millions of diamonds, so beautiful, it is cosmically beautiful, it is extraterrestrial beauty, higher aesthetics, as if priceless painting or through It is a beautiful sculpture personifying sensual femininity. You are perfect no doubt, you are a beautiful flower of love, an eternal flame of magical passion. In your figure so much hot playful cat's grace of a lioness, like a dance, as an unforgettable melody of love, a relationship with you is the most romantic movie in the world.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
In the end, Buchanan was one of the paleocons to back Trump and many of those who formerly loathed most of what Yiannopoulos and what he represented decided to change their minds and back the winning horse, not only of Trump, but also of the new libertines of the online irreverent ‘punk’ right. Having lost Buchannan’s conservative culture war, they were perhaps strategically right to calculate that the only way they can ever have at least some of their ideas heard again would be to back a groping, lecherous, godless presidential candidate and a libertine figure such as Yiannopoulos and his army of online racist, foul-mouthed, porn-loving nihilists, who in many ways represent everything people like Buchannan are supposed to stand against. The rise of Milo, Trump and the alt-right are not evidence of the return of the conservatism, but instead of the absolute hegemony of the culture of non-conformism, self-expression, transgression and irreverence for its own sake – an aesthetic that suits those who believe in nothing but the liberation of the individual and the id, whether they’re on the left or the right. The principle-free idea of counterculture did not go away; it has just become the style of the new right.
Angela Nagle
The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, “although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,” wrote Orwell, tends to be “uninterested in what happens in the real world.” Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism “has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.” A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better. Democracy failed in Europe in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, and it is failing not only in much of Europe but in many parts of the world today. It is that history and experience that reveals to us the dark range of our possible futures. A nationalist will say that “it can’t happen here,” which is the first step toward disaster. A patriot says that it could happen here, but that we will stop it.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
It is already the fashion to diminish Eliot by calling him derivative, the mouthpiece of Pound, and so forth; and yet if one wanted to understand the apocalypse of early modernism in its true complexity it would be Eliot, I fancy, who would demand one's closest attention. He was ready to rewrite the history of all that interested him in order to have past and present conform; he was a poet of apocalypse, of the last days and the renovation, the destruction of the earthly city as a chastisement of human presumption, but also of empire. Tradition, a word we especially associate with this modernist, is for him the continuity of imperial deposits; hence the importance in his thought of Virgil and Dante. He saw his age as a long transition through which the elect must live, redeeming the time. He had his demonic host, too; the word 'Jew' remained in lower case through all the editions of the poems until the last of his lifetime, the seventy-fifth birthday edition of 1963. He had a persistent nostalgia for closed, immobile hierarchical societies. If tradition is, as he said in After Strange Gods--though the work was suppressed--'the habitual actions, habits and customs' which represent the kinship 'of the same people living in the same place' it is clear that Jews do not have it, but also that practically nobody now does. It is a fiction, a fiction cousin to a myth which had its effect in more practical politics. In extenuation it might be said that these writers felt, as Sartre felt later, that in a choice between Terror and Slavery one chooses Terror, 'not for its own sake, but because, in this era of flux, it upholds the exigencies proper to the aesthetics of Art.' The fictions of modernist literature were revolutionary, new, though affirming a relation of complementarity with the past. These fictions were, I think it is clear, related to others, which helped to shape the disastrous history of our time. Fictions, notably the fiction of apocalypse, turn easily into myths; people will live by that which was designed only to know by. Lawrence would be the writer to discuss here, if there were time; apocalypse works in Woman in Love, and perhaps even in Lady Chatterley's Lover, but not n Apocalypse, which is failed myth. It is hard to restore the fictive status of what has become mythical; that, I take it, is what Mr. Saul Bellow is talking about in his assaults on wastelandism, the cant of alienation. In speaking of the great men of early modernism we have to make very subtle distinctions between the work itself, in which the fictions are properly employed, and obiter dicta in which they are not, being either myths or dangerous pragmatic assertions. When the fictions are thus transformed there is not only danger but a leak, as it were, of reality; and what we feel about. all these men at times is perhaps that they retreated inso some paradigm, into a timeless and unreal vacuum from which all reality had been pumped. Joyce, who was a realist, was admired by Eliot because he modernized myth, and attacked by Lewis because he concerned himself with mess, the disorders of common perception. But Ulysses ,alone of these great works studies and develops the tension between paradigm and reality, asserts the resistance of fact to fiction, human freedom and unpredictability against plot. Joyce chooses a Day; it is a crisis ironically treated. The day is full of randomness. There are coincidences, meetings that have point, and coincidences which do not. We might ask whether one of the merits of the book is not its lack of mythologizing; compare Joyce on coincidence with the Jungians and their solemn concordmyth, the Principle of Synchronicity. From Joyce you cannot even extract a myth of Negative Concord; he shows us fiction fitting where it touches. And Joyce, who probably knew more about it than any of the others, was not at tracted by the intellectual opportunities or the formal elegance of fascism.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
As we read through this small pile of correspondence, a curious duplicity gradually emerges. In their language, the letters are among Kierkegaard’s most outstanding achievements so far as a writer. The pen no longer pauses with the ink bleeding onto the paper; the creaky Latin syntax that once could force Kierkegaard’s language into lackluster constructions is here replaced by a beguiling suppleness that lifts the lines from the page. They steal gently around their subject and draw on well-known Danish writers, such as Johannes Ewald, Jens Baggesen, Adam Oehlenschläger, Christian Winter, and Poul Martin Møller. Far from being ordinary communication, these letters are art. Therein lies the triumph and the tragedy. For the letters, by virtue of their undeniably aesthetic quality, almost cry out to the writer that a husband is not at all what he is to become, but an author. This makes them in effect letters of “farewell that try, with great discretion and an ingenious indirectness, to make the recipient understand that the man who celebrates her up and down the page has long ago vanished from her life because he has lost himself in recollection of her. His love is bound in artifice and imagination, and he has to accept the truth of the situation, that he is in real life unsuited to the married state. From the recollection that gives life to imagination there spreads also the death that parts the lovers.
Joakim Garff (Kierkegaard's Muse: The Mystery of Regine Olsen)
The gnarled pine, I would have said, touch it. This is China. Horticulturalists around the world have come to study it. Yet no one has ever been able to explain why it grows like a corkscrew, just as no one can adequately explain China. But like that tree, there it is, old, resilient, and oddly magnificent. Within that tree are the elements in nature that have inspired Chinese artists for centuries: gesture over geometry, subtlety over symmetry, constant flow over static form. And the temples, walk and touch them. This is China. Don't merely stare at these murals and statues. Fly up to the crossbeams, get down on your hands and knees, and press your head to the floor tiles. Hide behind that pillar and come eye to eye with its flecks of paint. Imagine that you are the interior decorator who is a thousand years in age. Start with a bit of Tibetan Buddhism, plus a dash each of animism and Taoism. A hodgepodge, you say? No, what is in those temples is an amalgam that is pure Chinese, a lovely shabby elegance, a glorious new motley that makes China infinitely intriguing. Nothing is ever completely thrown away and replaced. If one period of influence falls out of favor, it is patched over. The old views still exist, one chipped layer beneath, ready to pop through with the slightest abrasion. That is the Chinese aesthetic and also its spirit. Those are the traces that have affected all who have traveled along China's roads.
Amy Tan (Saving Fish from Drowning)
That shifting, layered sensibility is also, in part, the world into which the King James Bible was born. The king’s instructions were perfectly explicit: they were to use ‘circumlocution’, in other words language in which meaning was to be ‘sett forth gorgeously’. There was no terror of richness in this. Richness, as King David had known when he decorated the temple for God, was one of the attributes of God. Majesty, honour and power were gorgeous in themselves and the Jacobean sense of the beautiful loved both pearls and diamonds, both openness and ceremony. Miles Smith referred in his Preface to ‘the Sun of righteousness, the Son of God’, and it was the beams of that sun which the King James Translators would bring to the people. But the sense of clarity and directness was sewn and fused to those other Jacobean virtues: a pattern of order and authority; the majestic substance, the ‘meat’ of the word of God; the great ceremonial atmosphere of its long, carefully organised, musical rhythms, a ceremony of the word; an atmosphere both godly and kingly; both rich and pure, both multiplicitous and plain. This Bible, in other words, would absorb the full aesthetics of the age. You only have to read the Translators at full flood, feeling behind them the sense of unstoppable divine authority, to hear the immense, gilded majesty of the translation. In describing God’s assembling of the armies of a vengeful justice, they reached their apogee:
Adam Nicolson (God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible)
I wish I could breathe a Nabokovian air. I wish I could have the Olympian freedom of sensibility that disdains, in his autobiography, to give the Russian Revolution more than a passing mention, as if such common events did not have the power to wreak fundamental changes in his own life, or as if it were vulgar, tactless, to dwell on something so brutishly, so crudely collective. I wish I could define myself -a s Nabokov defines both himself and his characters - by the telling detail, as preference for months over lozenges, an awkwardness at cricket, a tendency to lose floes or umbrellas. I wish I could live in a world of prismatic reflections, carefully distinguished colours of sunsets and English scarves, synthetic repetitions and reiterative surprises - a world in which even a reddened nostril can be rendered as a delicious hue rather than a symptom of a discomfiting common cold. I wish I could attain such a world because in part that is our most real, and most loved world - the world of utterly individual sensibility, untrampled by history, or horrid intrusions of social circumstance. Oh ye, I think the Nabokovian world is lighted, lightened, and enlightened by the most precise affection. Such affection is unsentimental because it is free and because it attaches to free objects. It can notice what is adorable (or odious, for that matter), rather than what is formed and deformed by larger forces. Characters, in Nabokov's fiction, being perfectly themselves, attain the graced amorality of aesthetic objects.
Eva Hoffman (Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language)
Doctrinal formulae are neither a set of neat definitions nor some sort of affront to the free-thinking soul; they are words that tell us enough truth to bring us to the edge of speech, and words that sustain enough common life to hold us there together in worship and mutual love... I learned to rethink Hegel and to grasp that what he was concerned with was not a system that could be projected on to some detached reality 'out there', but a habit of thinking that always sought to understand itself as a process of self-questioning and self-dissolution in the process of discovering *real* language - and thus real thinking. It is the energy of surpassing the settled individual self in the journey to truth... The Hegelian point (as I understand it) is that meaning does not come in the gaps between words or things, but in the way in which the structure and the surface of the world and speech can be so read and heard as to lead us into new and strange configurations of understanding - how words and things always deliver more than themselves, more than a series of objects and labels, and so both undermine and re-establish appearances. Hans Urs von Balthasar... developed an aesthetic of extraordinary depth in which some of the same themes may be discerned. His 'dramatic' construal of the world is meant to remind us that we do not start from intuitions of spiritual truth and then embody them in some way in practices and words. First we are addressed and engaged by what is utterly outside our capacity; we are forced towards new horizons. For Balthasar, this is how we establish on the firmest basis the recognition of the gap between what we can achieve or understand and what God makes known to us... God is free from obligation to our good deeds, free from confinement in our categories; God defines who he is by what he says and does, in revelation.
Rowan Williams (Wrestling With Angels: Conversations In Modern Theology)
In Amsterdam, I took a room in a small hotel located in the Jordann District and after lunch in a café went for a walk in the western parts of the city. In Flaubert’s Alexandria, the exotic had collected around camels, Arabs peacefully fishing and guttural cries. Modern Amsterdam provided different but analogous examples: buildings with elongated pale-pink bricks stuck together with curiously white mortar, long rows of narrow apartment blocks from the early twentieth century, with large ground-floor windows, bicycles parked outside every house, street furniture displaying a certain demographic scruffiness, an absence of ostentatious buildings, straight streets interspersed with small parks…..In one street lines with uniform apartment buildings, I stopped by a red front door and felt an intense longing to spend the rest of my life there. Above me, on the second floor, I could see an apartment with three large windows and no curtains. The walls were painted white and decorated with a single large painting covered with small blue and red dots. There was an oaken desk against a wall, a large bookshelf and an armchair. I wanted the life that this space implied. I wanted a bicycle; I wanted to put my key in that red front door every evening. Why be seduced by something as small as a front door in another country? Why fall in love with a place because it has trams and its people seldom have curtains in their homes? However absurd the intense reactions provoked by such small (and mute) foreign elements my seem, the pattern is at least familiar from our personal lives. My love for the apartment building was based on what I perceived to be its modesty. The building was comfortable but not grand. It suggested a society attracted to the financial mean. There was an honesty in its design. Whereas front doorways in London are prone to ape the look of classical temples, in Amsterdam they accept their status, avoiding pillars and plaster in favor of neat, undecorated brick. The building was modern in the best sense, speaking of order, cleanliness, and light. In the more fugitive, trivial associations of the word exotic, the charm of a foreign place arises from the simple idea of novelty and change-from finding camels where at home there are horses, for example, or unadorned apartment buildings where at home there are pillared ones. But there may be a more profound pleasure as well: we may value foreign elements not only because they are new but because they seem to accord more faithfully with our identity and commitments than anything our homeland can provide. And so it was with my enthusiasms in Amsterdam, which were connected to my dissatisfactions with my own country, including its lack of modernity and aesthetic simplicity, its resistance to urban life and its net-curtained mentality. What we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
It reminded me how, at work that week, there'd been a meeting when a client visited, a woman, and after she'd left the conference room, the first task had been to evaluate her aesthetically, to weigh in on her breasts and legs, the make and quality of her handbag.
Rosecrans Baldwin (Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down)
PRAYER OF COMMUNION We who are about to partake of each other, shall walk past all amorous sickness and deaths, for we are within the magical equinox. Amen We who proudly make unto ourselves every graven image, shall have great copulations and are allowed to love our Gods, for we know the Sacred Alignments. Amen We who do not crucify—nothing shall hurt us that is of the 'Nature'; neither our comings and goings from the womb, for we have the Key to all aesthetics. Amen In this sacred moment (here occurs the symbolic eating of flesh and blood) we forget our enemies: therefore let our dead children sleep. And let our dead loves arise, so they too may watch and enjoy our ecstasies. Let their animation be power to our memories and so resurge all ecstasy, for in this day there shall be no inhibitions. Amen Thou insatiable peripheral quadriga of sex. Amen PRAYER OF ADORATION Thou lambent spirit of Erh! Thou hast kindled the sacred fire from dead ashes, so my torch lightens all darknesses. Thou hast become the fulcrum of my will. Everlastingly in Thee I know not respite: Except in the sensuous impact of flesh, there are no meanings. Thou hast awakened me into eternities. Thou makest all things beautiful unto the grotesque. Whom thou succour hath no sterility. I am reborn and reborn into desirous becomings: I have recreated my Soul by birthing pleasure. Through Thee my will, desire, belief and word become the law That carries me into the Catastrophic beyond becoming: Thou the emissary of Neither-Neither! Ever Silent Watcher! Thou hast shown me the new sexualities And all the mysteries of the Threshold! Only Thee I adore in my Soul and my everlasting body. Alpha-Omega—Amen!
Transcendence: help others realize their potential • Self-actualization: realize our own potential, self-fulfillment, peak experiences • Aesthetic: symmetry, order, beauty, balance • Learning: know, understand, mentally connect • Esteem: achieve, be competent, gain approval, independence, status • Belonging: love, family, friends, affection
Chip Heath (Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die)
Dostoevsky hardly fits the stereotype of ‘art for art’s sake’, but there are striking parallels between his aesthetic statements and those of Walter Pater, who in an essay from 1868 described the power of art in terms Dostoevsky would have found familiar: we are all condamnés, as Victor Hugo says: we are all under sentence of death but with a sort of indefinite reprieve [. . .] we have an interval, and then our place knows us no more. Some spend this interval in listlessness, some in high passions, the wisest, at least among ‘the children of this world’, in art and song. For our one chance lies in expanding that interval, in getting as many pulsations as possible into the given time. Great passions may give us this quickened sense of life, ecstasy and sorrow of love, the various forms of enthusiastic activity, disinterested or otherwise, which come naturally to many of us. Only be sure it is passion – that it does yield you this fruit of a quickened, multiple consciousness. Of such wisdom, the poetic passion, the desire of beauty, the love of art for art’s sake, has most. 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.8
Robert Bird (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
There’s nothing more genuinely aesthetic and beautiful than to love people—love profoundly, love without reason. Love heals, restores, renews and saves! Be kind, be love!
Princess Dr. Mercy Uwakwe
White fire of lust The white fire of lust, in a word juicy. Everything burns from your passion. Competitors are burning in your fire. The magic fire of love, you are the only best gift of the universe. The brutal thirst to be yours. It is useless to stop loving, it is useless to stop dreaming and eat up, to love, to think, you dream again and again. Your body is my eternal thirst and wild lust. Your appearance is like hot sex. My sincere love for you is like eternal, continuous, eternal sex. Your appearance is an aesthetic orgasm of the soul of a universal scale. Your skin color is a powerful magnet. The heat of love and attraction through the body. You are my wild passion, my obsession. In a word, it's hot. It seems that you are a very sexual mirage of my sincere fantasies and desires.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
I DIDN’T START OUT AS A BOOK LOVER,” admits Phillip Lim. “Initially, it was more about pragmatism: seeking knowledge having to do with research on work, on my interiors, building a home, even a word I wanted to understand more. But what I love about books is, once you start, you get to go deeper and deeper and deeper into a subject, and from there you go to another book, and another book, and soon after, you have a wall of books. And then you have two walls of books. And then—” The designer indicates the floor-to-ceiling bookcases that serve as the focal point of his loft apartment. “Books are how I learn,” Lim continues, “but I’m not nostalgic. I hate to look back; books inform you, but then they also become decoration. That may sound horrible to a true book lover, but I feel I honor them by making these objects part of my aesthetic world.” PHILLIP LIM
Nina Freudenberger (Bibliostyle: How We Live at Home with Books)
Erotic cake of sweet fantasies You are like an erotic cake of sweet fantasies, you are so sweet that it seems to me that I will have caries and diabetes. Goddess of passionate nights, skin shining with stars. Beckons to do sex marathon with you for life. To the adventures of an erotic tale of eternal love. My soul sings about you, languishing from longing. I am filled with love and lust. My breath breathes love for you. To look at you is such a delightfully beautiful feeling, the spiritual aesthetics of the union of the soul with you. Lord, it's so beautiful what I feel for you. Each note of love is like a feather of a poet from which fly on the wings of love into the cosmos of infinite love for you, my love for you.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
A hell-fire faith that uses the theatrical techniques of revivalism in order to stimulate remorse and induce the crisis of sudden conversion; a saviour cult that is for ever stirring up what St. Bernard calls the amor carnalis or fleshly love of the Avatar and personal God; a ritualistic mystery-religion that generates high feelings of awe and reverence and aesthetic ecstasy by means of its sacraments and ceremonials, its music and its incense, its numinous darknesses and sacred lights in its own special way, each one of these runs the risk of becoming a form of psychological idolatry, in which God is identified with the ego's affective attitude towards God and finally the emotion becomes an end in itself, to be eagerly sought after and worshipped, as the addicts of a drug spend life in the pursuit of their artificial paradise.
Aldous Huxley (The Perennial Philosophy)
He concluded that nothing could happen, not knowing that human love and love of truth sometimes conquer where love of beauty fails. A little disenchanted, a little tired, but aesthetically intact, he resumed his placid life, relying more and more on his second gift, the gift of humour. If he could not reform the world, he could at all events laugh at it, thus attaining at least an intellectual superiority. Laughter, he read and believed, was a sign of good moral health, and he laughed on contentedly, till Lilia's marriage toppled contentment down for ever. Italy, the land of beauty, was ruined for him. She had no power to change men and things who dwelt in her. She, too, could produce avarice, brutality, stupidity—and, what was worse, vulgarity.
E.M. Forster (WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD Annotated book)
Art—at least great art—by its very nature has varying levels, or layers, of meaning. In fact, a masterpiece comes to be considered a masterpiece because we know instinctively, even subconsciously, that there is much more to the work than meets the eye. We don’t love the Mona Lisa because she is beautiful (in fact, in today’s aesthetic, she would be considered plain by many), but because she is mysterious. That is the key to the world’s fascination with her for the last five centuries. We know that there is something else there beneath the surface, beneath that smile, and we can’t quite figure it out.
Benjamin Blech (The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican)
The fact that we fail at seeing these things, that our interpretations may perpetrate violence against a text, and so on, is only more evidence of the Lord’s grace is granting us participation in the love of the Trinity, through existence and in the body of Christ. That same grace is offered to us who are granted the privilege of literacy. Meaning-making through reading, after all, is another testimony of the attributes of the invisible God being clearly seen in what has been made (Rom. 1:20). That we fall into idolatry is undeniable—in reading and the rest of life: the image in Romans of exchanging “the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles” is as aesthetic and poetic as it is magic and earthen (Rom. 1:23). It harkens back to the idolatries of both noninstrumental and instrumental reading discussed in the introduction. God will bring the entire cosmos into the beloved community of the new creation through the purification and repurposing work of judgment—as idolatry and violence and sin and death become the nothing to which they have always pointed. God’s judgment will differentiate those who seek the glory of God from those who seek the nothingness of their own glory. But text may be cultivated by anyone; its becoming gives glory to the God of all meaning-making regardless. The special office of the reader in the body of Christ is the express veneration of the word—is, in short, praise.
Tiffany Eberle Kriner (The Future of the Word: An Eschatology of Reading)
... read as little as possible in the way of aesthetics and criticism - it will either be partisan views, fossilized and made meaningless in its lifeless rigidity, or it will be neat wordplay, where one opinion will triumph one day and the opposite the next. Works of art are infinitely solitary and nothing is less likely to reach them than criticism. Only love can grasp them and hold them and do them justice.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
Hipper juicy, mega sexy sweet candy Oh God, so sexy. Hipper juicy, mega sweet candy. Delightfully beautiful. I am uncontrollably drawn to you ultra powerfully. When you walk in front of me, this is a mega juicy and beautiful and very sexually exciting, seductive dance of sexy buns. You are the most sexy erotic dope of my mind and heart. I want you with all my heart, every night all night long flight. Your kiss is a powerful energetic, this is my strongest addiction. Sex with you is the embrace of true love. You're just super sexy, too beautiful. Every second, when I see you, I think to myself: wow, just woooooooooooooooow, ooooooh yeaaaaaah, so hot well, just auch, toooooo much sexy. I can upload a lot of your photos into the computer and watch all day long for a slide show, and watch with great pleasure and just admire. All the compliments from all the universes just for you. I am in love with you over super ultra turbo mega, supa dupa powerfully. You are my ultra powerful sex attraction, your only passion, a powerful obsession with you. When you are close to me, I’m supposed to be delighted, it’s like a multi powerful orgasmic vibratory pulsating sensation in my soul, when I touch you and embrace tenderly, kissing it is just indescribable pleasure, all this is mixed with true love, joy and true happiness. Time stands still as everything except you is not important, you are the only value of my eternity and eternity with you - this is heaven on earth. You awaken in me a hard sexual hunger because you are very appetizing, charming delicacy, chic dessert. Luxurious, sexy chocolate color of your soft skin , hypper juicy and sweet, hipper juicy candy . Than blacker the skin, the sweeter and juicier. Unbearably sexy and beautiful. Mega horny sweet dream is like an erotic jazz melody, a prelude to hot sex. I give you my horny universal size, infinite amount of likes. Than more I look at you, than more I'm falling in love you and get horny. On such as you can with great pleasure to look for ages, day and night for days on flight. You have powerful sex magnetism. The movements of your luxurious body is aesthetic erotica. The more I look at you, the more I fall in love. The blacker the skin, the hotter and hotter and torrid it is, the heat of passion emanates from it. You are synonymous with torrid sex and delightfully beautiful passion of romance. When your sweet skin is in sweat, it plays with the bright tinges of the eloquent colors of aesthetics with the highest form of seducing a very powerful temptation gently falling in love with yourself. I am quite clearly aware of how beautiful you are to the extent that beautifully illuminates the day and how it beautify the night. Only you awaken in me a powerful unquenchable hunger for sex. My libido seems to be grilled like barbecue meat. You are my sweet dear masterpiece of the universe juicy candy I will love so strongly others will just be jealous. It is difficult to believe in your existence that there can be such a beautiful girl. Gentle sensual chocolate is a supremely royal shade of luxury. Everything that is connected with a beautiful sweet, sweet and touching is associated with you. You are a beautiful girl to tears. You are too sweet like a sugar and so sweet and cute. I have powerfull love and sex addiction to you is even more than anything else. Your love is the most invaluable and most valuable phenomenon in the universe.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
Points of light. They make a map, or a pattern,or a constellation. Formless, intricate, infinitely complex, and lovely. And then, at once, they'll connect. They'll meet, and explode. Of course. That's the entire point. That's how the story works, the way each sentence and metaphor and reference feeds into the other to illuminate something important. That explosion of discovery, of understanding, is the most intoxicating moment there is. Emotional, intellectual, aesthetic. Just for a moment, a perfect moment, a small piece of the world makes perfect sense. And it's beautiful. It's a moment of pure joy, the kind that brings pleasure like pain.
H.G. Parry (The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep)
,It was saturday in the mid december waking up with thought of you as i can remember happiness is in the air as easy to breath formless smile in beneath you came, waited outside on that station black color wrap up your body as your skin compete the sun an i came, with an old junkie of my uncle's favorite wasnt meant to race the other but yet aesthetic thirteen in the afternoon with every wish we've said so soon i'll be gentle with you hug you tight left no room for you "i miss you" we stop the moment being so full of emotion our both lips reach to us with our dense of lust forming an imaginary shelter a place where's the feeling return to his owner getting more thick and faster as we melt into each other we paused, i saw your red wine smile a little laugh just to remind we had it all do you remember the star-kiss that i've always gave you? starts from your cheeks end to your lips. it felt like hundreds of years but in a glimpse of an eye maybe a hour or two but somehow we fell into.
Azlan (Azlan)
Sweet candy You are my life meaning, only you are forever beautiful in my eyes, you are like the utopian harmony of the universe, being your husband is like going to heaven. When nature created you, she was idealized, poetic, exaggeratedly embellished even the smallest details of your beautiful body. Your skin is a masterpiece of painting, the voice is a masterpiece of music, the shape of a body is a masterpiece of sculpture, the eyes and character are the masterpiece of a romantic movie. Oh baby, you're just a piquant sweetheart, you too much juicy and hot, savory relish, aesthetic nude, nu erotica, pin up, you have the perfect body, brought to absolute perfection. You are my powerful pull, the limit of my dreams, my most sexy, desirable dream. I would insatiably lick, kiss and caress like ice cream all day long, my skin glows like a juicy cream, give a body massage with my kisses and thank fate for every second I spent with you. I feel for you a powerful attraction and attraction for 1000% of you I can think and dream day and night to fly. When I see you nothing but true love I do not feel, you can look at you forever, you are my heaven on earth, my whole mind is focused only on you. Your sweet body shapes, powerful lures, my sweet sweetie. Each microparticle, atom, molecule of your body, a brilliant masterpiece of the universe, time, nature, is brilliantly beautiful, as detailed as possible, everything decorates you literally everything. The highest form of beauty in its true form. A majestic ideal, a completed masterpiece. You have a special energy of charisma and charm. The skin is like thousands of rose petals, kisses burn the soul with the heat of lust, you are the warm light of tenderness illuminating my soul, so the rich shades of your juicy skin shimmer so picturesquely.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
In Walked Jim September 2013: Entering his first morning staff meeting as FBI director, Jim Comey loped to the head of the table, put down his briefing books, and lowered his six-foot-eight-inch, shirtsleeved self into a huge leather chair. He leaned the chair so far back on its hind legs that he lay practically flat, testing gravity. Then he sat up, stretched like a big cat, pushed the briefing books to the side, and said, as if he were talking to a friend, I don’t want to talk about these today. I’d rather talk about some other things first. He talked about how effective leaders immediately make their expectations clear and proceeded to do just that for us. Said he would expect us to love our jobs, expect us to take care of ourselves … I remember less of what he said than the easygoing way he spoke and the absolute clarity of his day-one priority: building relationships with each member of his senior team. Comey continually reminded the FBI leadership that strong relationships with one another were critical to the institution’s functioning. One day, after we reviewed the briefing books, he said, Okay, now I want to go around the room, and I want you all to say one thing about yourselves that no one else here knows about you. One hard-ass from the criminal division stunned the room to silence when he said, My wife and I, we really love Disney characters, and all our vacation time we spend in the Magic Kingdom. Another guy, formerly a member of the hostage-rescue team, who carefully tended his persona as a dead-eyed meathead—I thought his aesthetic tastes ran the gamut from YouTube videos of snipers in Afghanistan to YouTube videos of Bigfoot sightings—turned out to be an art lover. I really like the old masters, he said, but my favorite is abstract expressionism. This hokey parlor game had the effect Comey intended. It gave people an opportunity to be interesting and funny with colleagues in a way that most had rarely been before. Years later, I remember it like yesterday. That was Jim’s effect on almost everyone he worked with. I observed how he treated people. Tell me your story, he would say, then listen as if there were only the two of you in the whole world. You were, of course, being carefully assessed at the same time that you were being appreciated and accepted. He once told me that people’s responses to that opening helped him gauge their ability to communicate. Over the next few years I would sit in on hundreds of meetings with him. All kinds of individuals and organizations would come to Comey with their issues. No matter how hostile they were when they walked in the door, they would always walk out on a cloud of Comey goodness. Sometimes, after the door had closed, he would look at me and say, That was a mess. Jim has the same judgmental impulse that everyone has. He is complicated, with many different sides, and he is so good at showing his best side—which is better than most people’s—that his bad side, which is not as bad as most people’s, can seem more shocking on the rare moments when it flashes to the surface.
Andrew G. McCabe (The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump)
Pornography, like marriage and the fictions of romantic love, assists the process of false universalising. Its excesses belong to that timeless, locationless area outside history, outside geography, where fascist art is born. Nevertheless, there is no question of an aesthetics of pornography. It can never be art for art’s sake. Honourably enough, it is always art with work to do.
Angela Carter (The Sadeian Woman: An Exercise in Cultural History)
He who has been instructed thus far in the things of love, and who has learned to see the beautiful in due order and succession, when he comes toward the end will suddenly perceive a nature of wondrous beauty ... beauty absolute, separate, simple, and everlasting, which without diminution and without increase or any change, is imparted to the ever-growing and perishing beauties of all other things. He who from this ascending under the influence of true love, begins to perceive that beauty, is not far from the end. And the true order of going, or being led by another, to the things of love, is to begin from the beauties of earth and mount upwards for the sake of that other beauty, using these as steps only, and from one going on to two, and from two to all fair firms, and from fair forms to fair practices, and from fair practices to fair notions, until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute beauty, and at last knows what the essence of beauty is.
Richard Viladesau (Theological Aesthetics: God in Imagination, Beauty, and Art)
Art sincerely obeys a mind,who is willing to tame a Wild Stone to mould a desired Shape.
Nithin Purple
The point is not that women necessarily fetishize these parts of men’s bodies, but that these parts can be measured easily and are good markers of overall symmetry. Men with symmetrical bodies also do well in their own sexual marketplace. They tend to have sex a few years earlier than other men. They also have sex earlier when courting a specific woman, and have two or three times as many partners than less symmetrical men. Their partners even experience them as better in bed! It turns out that a man’s physical symmetry can predict the likelihood of his female lover having an orgasm better than his earnings, investment in the relationship, or frequency of love-making [31]. Heterosexual men also prefer symmetrical women. This preference is evident in laboratory experiments as well as from behavioral observations. Physically symmetrical women have more sexual partners than less symmetrical women. It turns out that women with large and symmetrical breasts are more fertile than women with less symmetrical breasts. Women also become more symmetrical during ovulation. Symmetry in soft tissue as measured in women’s ears and third, fourth, and fifth fingers can increase up to 30 percent during ovulation [32]. We saw that sexual dimorphic features can drive attractiveness in male and female faces. Sexual dimorphic features also influence how animals and people
Anjan Chatterjee (The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art)
If your energies, your beliefs, your ambitions and your aesthetics are discordant from those of your colleagues, friends and loved ones, then this discord can prevent you from tuning into the flow of cosmic energy.
Angelica Crystal Powers (The God Academy: A Master Class in the Power of Attraction)
Never to feel his own feelings sincerely, and to rise his pallid triumph to the point of regarding his own ambitions, longings and desires with indifference; to pass alongside his joys anxieties as if passing by someone who doesn't interest him … The greatest self-mastery is to be indifferent towards ourselves, to see our body and soul as merely the house and grounds where Destiny willed that we spend our life. To treat our own dreams and deepest desires with arrogance, en grand seigneur, politely and carefully ignoring them. To act modestly in our own presence; to realize that we are never truly alone, since we are our own witnesses, and should therefore act before ourselves as before a stranger, with a studied and serene outward manner – indifferent because it's noble, and cold because it's indifferent. In order not to sink in our own estimation, all we have to do is quit having ambitions, passions, desires, hopes, whims or nervous disquiet. The key is to remember that we're always in our presence – we are never so alone that we can feel at ease. With this in mind, we will overcome having passions and ambitions, for this make us vulnerable; we won't have desires or hopes, since desires and hopes are plebeian and inelegant; and we won't have whims or be disquieted, because rash behavior is unpleasant for others to witness, and agitated behaviors is always a vulgarity. The aristocrat is the one who never forgets that he's never alone, that's why etiquette and decorum are the privilege of aristocrats. Let take him out of his gardens and drawing rooms and place him in our soul and in our consciousness of existing. Let's always treat ourselves with etiquette and decorum, with studied and for-other-people gestures. Each of us is an entire community, an entire neighborhood of the great Mystery, and we should at least make sure that the life of our neighborhood is distinctive and elegant, that the feasts of our sensations are genteel and restrained, and that the banquets of our thoughts are decorous and dignified. Since other souls may build poor and filthy neighborhoods around us, we should clearly define where our begins and ends, and from the facades of our feelings to the alcoves of our shyness, everything should be noble and serene, sculpted in sobriety, without ostentation. We should try to find a serene way to realize each sensation. To reduce love to the shadow of a dream of love, a pale and tremulous interval between the crests of two tint, moonlit waves. To turn desire into a useless and innocuous thing, a kind of knowing smile in our soul; to make it into something we never dream of achieving or even expressing. To lull hearted to sleep like a captive snake, and to tell fear to give up all its outer manifestations except for anguish in our eyes, or rather, in our eyes of soul, for only this attitude can be considered aesthetic.
Fernando Pessoa
If they’re beautiful I don’t much mind if they’re not true. It’s asking a great deal that things should appeal to your reason as well as to your sense of the aesthetic. I wanted Betty to become a Roman Catholic, I should have liked to see her converted in a crown of paper flowers, but she’s hopelessly Protestant. Besides, religion is a matter of temperament; you will believe anything if you have the religious turn of mind, and if you haven’t it doesn’t matter what beliefs were instilled into you, you will grow out of them. Perhaps religion is the best school of morality. It is like one of those drugs you gentlemen use in medicine which carries another in solution: it is of no efficacy in itself, but enables the other to be absorbed. You take your morality because it is combined with religion; you lose the religion and the morality stays behind. A man is more likely to be a good man if he has learned goodness through the love of God than through a perusal of Herbert Spencer.” This
W. Somerset Maugham (Collected Works of W. Somerset Maugham)
Nothing—and I mean really, absolutely nothing—is more extraordinary in Britain than the beauty of the countryside. Nowhere in the world is there a landscape that has been more intensively utilized—more mined, farmed, quarried, covered with cities and clanging factories, threaded with motorways and railroad tracks—and yet remains so comprehensively and reliably lovely over most of its extent. It is the happiest accident in history. In terms of natural wonders, you know, Britain is a pretty unspectacular place. It has no alpine peaks or broad rift valleys, no mighty gorges or thundering cataracts. It is built to really quite a modest scale. And yet with a few unassuming natural endowments, a great deal of time, and an unfailing instinct for improvement, the makers of Britain created the most superlatively park-like landscapes, the most orderly cities, the handsomest provincial towns, the jauntiest seaside resorts, the stateliest homes, the most dreamily-spired, cathedral-rich, castle-strewn, abbey-bedecked, folly-scattered, green-wooded, winding-laned, sheep-dotted, plumply-hedgerowed, well-tended, sublimely decorated 88,386 square miles the world has ever known—almost none of it undertaken with aesthetics
Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island)
Infinitely beautiful girl You are infinitely beautiful. Over the years you have become more beautiful in my eyes. I fall in love more and more with your mind and soul. Being in your heart is like living in a royal palace where we are king and queen, love in me is immeasurably gigantic, huge amount. Sweeter and sexier than you can not be anything, in one word, dessert, delicacy. No model is more beautiful than you, in any time, even the Goddess and beautiful aliens are unable to surpass you in beauty. You are brilliantly beautiful and perfect, as well as outside and inside it is the apogee of the highest degree of beauty. This is the highest point of erotic aesthetics, infinitely beautiful. With you I am on a higher, divine dimension of love, bliss and happiness, this is just an indescribable feeling of higher and mega powerful ecstasy and orgasm at the same time to my admiration there is no limit. Your sweet voice and eyes, as if from love, hypnotize me with their beauty and subordinate themselves to their will. The mouth opens and the gift of speech from your beauty is lost, my sexual organ is maximally, extremely excited at the sight of you, you are inconceivably beautiful. I wish to become an eternal, inexhaustible source of love, care and tenderness. My love for you is eternal and infinite like the universe itself. Your appearance excites and falls in love before losing consciousness, excitement is more powerful than nowhere, You are a dream of all my eternity, I feel for you an insatiable passion and eternal thirst for aggressive insatiable eternal sex only with you.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
In one of the most celebrated passages of the Confessions, he addresses God as primal Beauty: Late have I loved You, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved You! and behold, You were within me, and I was outside, and I sought you there, and threw myself, deformed, upon the beautiful things which You made. You were with nie, but I was not with you. Those things held me far from You; things which would not even exist unless they were in You. You called and cried out and broke open my deafness; You shone forth and glowed and chased away my blindness; You blew fragrantly on me, and I drew breath and I pant for You; I tasted You, and I hunger and thirst for You; You touched me, and I was inflamed with desire for your peace.
Richard Viladesau (Theological Aesthetics: God in Imagination, Beauty, and Art)
Chocolate goddess Your image is very hot, aesthetic, juicy, passionate erotica. Living with you is a romantic, erotic dream. Only with you I want eternal endless, uninterrupted sex and I crave to be a part of your soul, simply because you are a continuation of mine. You are aerobatics of beauty and spiritual aesthetics. Goddess, smeared in body oil. You are a juicy relish, you are my high, ecstasy, my true delight. I obsessively love you, your tropical beauty. My sweet candy, passionate chocolate, shiny skin, juicy exciting chocolate, the blacker the hotter and sweeter it is. Chocolate goddess, your flesh is ablaze with the fire of love and sultry lust, exhausting the sweat of exhaustion from sexual hunger you can hear your exciting moans. You are an eternal fire that no rain of lust can put out. At the sight of you, my sexual tension in the body and mind just rolls over when I see such an incredibly beautiful girl like you. With your body, I am ready to know the bottom of debauchery, since you are too perfect and absolutely perfect and I want you to madness.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
And why is it that Homo sapiens was descended from hairy apes but wound up naked—as Wallace had gone to some pains to point out? Even in hottest horrid-torrid Africa, animals such as antelopes had fur to protect them from the wind and rain. So did man…way back in that invisible past, where Evolution lives. Starting out, said Darwin, man was as hairy as the hairiest ape. Why no longer? Blind, aren’t you, Wallace? You didn’t get the second half of my title, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, did you. Evolution, said Darwin, had turned Homo sapiens into a more sensitive animal, which in turn gave him something approaching aesthetic feelings. The male began to admire females who had the least apelike hides because he could see more of their lovely soft skin, which excited him sexually. The more skin he saw, the more he wanted to see. Obviously valued by the males because their hides were much less hairy, the most sought-after females began to look down their noses at the old-fashioned hairy males, one crude step away from the apes themselves. Generation after generation went by, thousands of them, until, thanks to natural selection, males and females became as naked as they are today, with but two clumps of hair, one on the head and the other in the pubic area, plus wispy, scarcely visible little remnants of their formerly hirsute selves on the forearms and lower legs and, in the case of some males, the chest and shoulders.b Yes, their backs got cold, terribly cold, as Wallace had argued. But what poor Wallace didn’t know was that the heat of passion conquered all…and that was “How Man Lost His Hair Over Love.” (Got that, Wallace?)
Tom Wolfe (The Kingdom of Speech)
Despite all the lovely and undoubtedly accurate statements pertaining to what art is, perhaps art is merely a person creating a new ethical world in which they can reside. Perhaps when the sculptor, painter, writer, musician, and poet arrive at the point where after many trials and glorious errors they create art, they can put down their chisel, paintbrushes, pen, musical instruments, and verse making. Perhaps when the artist travels beyond the realm of the ordinary, they no longer feel a need to pay homage to a world where other people’s values and principles rule. Creating a new realm for their personal occupancy, they can now destroy all their crutches, burn, crush, and obliterate all their prior creations for what they now perceive as an abomination.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
ceremony rehearsal, and one of the groomsmen dared to suggest that Evan might want to take a small sedative before the real wedding, which, as you can imagine, did not go over well. Oh, and Francois threatened to quit halfway through the final menu tasting.” Harmony cringed. “Yikes.” “I think if Francois would have quit, I would have too.” I sighed. “I believe it. I’ve never seen you use the coffee table as an ottoman before.” I smiled and wiggled my toes. “I don’t know why not.” “Well, as you explained to me, this here is an authentic Jason Partillo design,” Harmony replied, a lilt in her voice as she gently needled me with her elbow. I laughed softly. “Are you trying to say that those of us who live in diva houses shouldn’t throw shoes?” She barked a laugh. “No. This Evan guy sounds like he left diva in the dust a long time ago and plowed straight into narcissistic jerk land.” “Can’t argue with that.” I closed my eyes, my head leaning against the back of the sofa. “Two days and then it’s over and they won’t be my problem anymore. I have fifteen weddings between now and June. That’s going to feel like a walk in the park compared to this nonsense.” “And in the meantime, you get the rest of the night off to spend with me and your bestie!” Harmony said. “Assuming I can stay awake, that is,” I replied, peeling my eyes open. “I should have left room in the schedule for a pre-dinner nap.” Harmony laughed and sprang off the sofa to continue getting ready. “Do you think I should wear my black tights with the red sweater dress, or can I get away with jeans? Is the place we’re going fancy fancy or fancy-ish?” I smiled at my sister’s nervous musings. She wasn’t one to ask for my fashion advice, mostly because I preferred my clothes hole-free and didn’t own anything with spikes or studs on it. While she could dress up when the situation warranted, Harmony tended toward a certain grunge-chic aesthetic with colorful streaks in her otherwise bleached-blonde hair, four piercings in each ear, and a penchant for artfully torn clothing and bomber jackets. And she’d recently added a small crystal stud to her nose. “It’s fancy-adjacent,” I told her. “Go with the leggings and dress.” Harmony nodded, even as her teeth worked nervously at her lower lip. I smiled. “She’s going to love you, Harmony. Stop stressing.” Holly Boldt, my good friend and fellow witch, was coming into the Seattle Haven to speak at a potion making conference, and we’d made plans
Danielle Garrett (Wedding Bells and Deadly Spells (A Touch of Magic Mysteries #3))
There’s a severe and unadorned elegance about her - like a Quaker meeting house - which has its appeal; an appeal which, for him, is aesthetic only. One fords not make love to a minor religious edifice.
Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace)
I have often tried in dreams to be the kind of imposing individual the Romantics imagined themselves to be, and whenever I have, I’ve always ended up laughing out loud at myself for even giving house-room to such an idea. After all, the homme fatal exists in the dreams of all ordinary men, and romanticism is merely the turning inside out of our normal daily selves. In the most secret part of their being, all men dream of ruling over a great empire, with all men their subjects, all women theirs for the asking, adored by all the people and (if they are inferior men) of all ages … Few are as accustomed to dreaming as I am and so are not lucid enough to laugh at the aesthetic possibility of nurturing such dreams. The most serious criticism of romanticism has not yet been made, namely, that it represents the inner truth of human nature, an externalization of what lies deepest in the human soul, but made concrete, visible, even possible, if being possible depends on something other than Fate, and its excesses, its absurdities, its various ploys for moving and seducing people, all stem from that. Even I who laugh at the seductive traps laid by the imagination often find myself imagining how wonderful it would be to be famous, how gratifying to be loved, how thrilling to be a success! And yet I can never manage to see myself in those exulted roles without hearing a guffaw from the other “I” I always keep as close to me as a street in the Baixa. Do I imagine myself famous? Only as a famous bookkeeper. Do I fancy myself raised up onto the thrones of celebrity? This fantasy only ever comes upon me in the office in Rua dos Douradores, and my colleagues inevitably ruin the effect. Do I hear the applause of the most variegated multitudes? That applause comes from the cheap fourth-floor room where I live and clashes horribly with the shabby furnishings, with the surrounding vulgarity, humiliating both me and the dream. I never even had any castles in Spain, like those Spaniards we Portuguese have always feared. My castles were built out of an incomplete deck of grubby playing cards; and they didn’t collapse of their own accord, but had to be demolished with a sweeping gesture of the hand, the impatient gesture of an elderly maid wanting to restore the tablecloth and reset the table, because teatime was calling like some fateful curse. Even that vision is of little worth, because I don’t have a house in the provinces or old aunts at whose table, at the end of a family gathering, I sit sipping a cup of tea that tastes to me of repose. My dream failed even in its metaphors and figurations. My empire didn’t even go as far as a pack of old playing cards. My victory didn’t even include a teapot or an ancient cat. I will die as I lived, among the bric-a-brac of my room, sold off by weight among the postscripts of things lost. May I at least take with me into the immense possibilities to be found in the abyss of everything the glory of my disillusion as if it were that of a great dream, the splendor of my unbelief like a flag of defeat — a flag held aloft by feeble hands, but dragged through the mud and blood of the weak and held on high as we sink into the shifting sands, whether in protest or defiance or despair no one knows … No one knows because no one knows anything, and the sands swallow up those with flags and those without … And the sands cover everything, my life, my prose, my eternity. I carry with me the knowledge of my defeat as if it were a flag of victory
Fernando Pessoa
I have often tried in dreams to be the kind of imposing individual the Romantics imagined themselves to be, and whenever I have, I’ve always ended up laughing out loud at myself for even giving house-room to such an idea. After all, the homme fatal exists in the dreams of all ordinary men, and romanticism is merely the turning inside out of our normal daily selves. In the most secret part of their being, all men dream of ruling over a great empire, with all men their subjects, all women theirs for the asking, adored by all the people and (if they are inferior men) of all ages … Few are as accustomed to dreaming as I am and so are not lucid enough to laugh at the aesthetic possibility of nurturing such dreams. The most serious criticism of romanticism has not yet been made, namely, that it represents the inner truth of human nature, an externalization of what lies deepest in the human soul, but made concrete, visible, even possible, if being possible depends on something other than Fate, and its excesses, its absurdities, its various ploys for moving and seducing people, all stem from that. Even I who laugh at the seductive traps laid by the imagination often find myself imagining how wonderful it would be to be famous, how gratifying to be loved, how thrilling to be a success! And yet I can never manage to see myself in those exulted roles without hearing a guffaw from the other “I” I always keep as close to me as a street in the Baixa. Do I imagine myself famous? Only as a famous bookkeeper. Do I fancy myself raised up onto the thrones of celebrity? This fantasy only ever comes upon me in the office in Rua dos Douradores, and my colleagues inevitably ruin the effect. Do I hear the applause of the most variegated multitudes? That applause comes from the cheap fourth-floor room where I live and clashes horribly with the shabby furnishings, with the surrounding vulgarity, humiliating both me and the dream. I never even had any castles in Spain, like those Spaniards we Portuguese have always feared. My castles were built out of an incomplete deck of grubby playing cards; and they didn’t collapse of their own accord, but had to be demolished with a sweeping gesture of the hand, the impatient gesture of an elderly maid wanting to restore the tablecloth and reset the table, because teatime was calling like some fateful curse. Even that vision is of little worth, because I don’t have a house in the provinces or old aunts at whose table, at the end of a family gathering, I sit sipping a cup of tea that tastes to me of repose. My dream failed even in its metaphors and figurations. My empire didn’t even go as far as a pack of old playing cards. My victory didn’t even include a teapot or an ancient cat. I will die as I lived, among the bric-a-brac of my room, sold off by weight among the postscripts of things lost. May I at least take with me into the immense possibilities to be found in the abyss of everything the glory of my disillusion as if it were that of a great dream, the splendor of my unbelief like a flag of defeat — a flag held aloft by feeble hands, but dragged through the mud and blood of the weak and held on high as we sink into the shifting sands, whether in protest or defiance or despair no one knows … No one knows because no one knows anything, and the sands swallow up those with flags and those without … And the sands cover everything, my life, my prose, my eternity. I carry with me the knowledge of my defeat as if it were a flag of victory
Fernando Pessoa
Although the Major was so sympathetic to India, his piece sounds like a warning. He said that one has to be very determined to withstand--to stand up to--India. And the most vulnerable, he said, are always those who love her best. There are many ways of loving India, many things to love her for...but all, said the Major, are dangerous for the European who allows himself to love too much. India always, he said, finds out the weak spot and presses on it. ...Yes, concluded the Major, it is all very well to love and admire India--intellectually, aesthetically, he did not mention sexually but he must have been aware of that factor too--but always with a virile, measured, European feeling. One should never, he warned, allow oneself to become softened (like Indians) by an excess of feeling; because the moment that happens -- the moment one exceeds one's measure-- one is in danger of being dragged over to the other side. ... He who loved India so much, knew her so well, chose to spend the end of his days here! But she always remained for him an opponent, even sometimes an enemy, to be guarded and if necessary fought against from without and, especially, from within: from within one's own being.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (Heat and Dust)
The surprise aesthetic can be a tool for cultivating a more emotionally sustainable relationship with our things. When the objects in our lives continue to surprise us, we don’t want to trade them for new ones. We rediscover their joy again and again, and we fall a bit more in love each time.
Ingrid Fetell Lee (Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness)
Juicy goddess The juicy goddess. The wild cat of passion, the sultry lust of a lustful, lustful obsession, fries my libido like a juicy grilled beef steak. Juicy sexual color of dark skin in the head is only one word: Divine. My juicy, sweet, goddess. The figure is like a boom boom cool rap beat bass from which the glass breaks and twerk begins. The goddess of my most desirable passionate dreams, my God how divinely juicy her skin is, how marvelous and sweet. My echo wow pierces forever. Looking at you, I say for ages a lingering mmmmmm sound, like a mantra of pleasure. My soul is moaning from powerful orgasms looking at you. Your body forms are a whole poetry of love lust, an erotic adventure with a whole bunch of orgasms and groans in words in which true love for you is palpable. Each part of your body is a cool cool calling card of your personality, this is a poetic erotic compliment of the gods. With every second you are sweeter and sweeter in my eyes. Oh dear, how hot is too hot, how sweet is too sweet, your beauty is a spiritual aesthetic. You associate with me a burning passion and very hot sex. Hot sweetie, uhhh, how hot it is burning sexy. Immersion in your beauty immerses you in a fantastically beautiful super-reality, such a sweet and beautiful reality outside the temporary feeling of eternal love. My subconscious and conscious is saturated with love for you.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
In the fringes of our yard, daffodils await their triumphant chorus. The golden bells have just opened on our forsythia, and clusters of hyacinth flowers await flourish in purple blooms. By aesthetic standards, any of these blossoms would have outshone the fistful of yellow spikes my little boy offered. In the coming months, dozens of its cousins, cast away as weeds, will meet an untimely end beneath the blades of a lawnmower. Their brazen head will be lopped off, their awkward petals demolished and scattered. They will be declared a nuisance, expendable. Yet when gripped within Pip's fingers, how perfect, how precious became this paltry bloom. He had put aside the torrent of irritability and overwhelm that trouble him hourly, and found grace in a spiral of petals. Through a humble weed, love had broken through. God works this way. He does great things with the meager, and beautiful things with the misshapen. He chooses the smallest, the humblest, the most broken as his servants. (1 Sam 16:10-12, Numbers 12:3, 1 Tim 1:15) He works for good through the greatest calamity. (Gen 50:20) With his most beloved broken and crushed, he reaches through the firmament, and in love makes things new. (Rev 21:5) Where we see weakness, he offers grace. (2 Cor 12:9) He shatters pride, so new blossoms can burst forth. I've spent the past few months wrestling with God. After Pip's evaluation, as we clumsily felt out life with special needs, the questions of why wrapped around my heart, infusing me with daily bitterness. Resentment broiled to the surface. I'd left medicine to follow God's call, but a large part of me, in shocking arrogance, wanted to comply on my terms. Over the past two years, God has compelled me to confront my idols. I thrived on productivity. But now I inevitably find grime in corners I have just cleaned. I prized efficiency. But it now takes 30 minutes of wrangling over potty... I'm an introvert, who needs alone time to rejuvenate. But is anyone less alone than a mom with young kids? A "save the world" mentality drives me. But my daily life fodder is now the mundane. I relish instant gratification. But this business of shepherding hearts is long, with few immediate rewards. I relished accolades... I consider God's graciousness to us, and in the stillness of a springtime morning, I struggle for breath. His mercy toward us in this season -- in the face of my arrogance, despite the brokenness to which I've so stalwartly clung -- is stunning. During all the years of my training and career, homeschooling was never the plan. God inexplicably placed the idea in my heart, like a shadow that deepened daily. But now, I see how perfect were his methods. I shudder to think of how our family would struggle if I was still barreling ahead at the hospital, subsumed with my own self importance, while Pip fought daily to deal with every crowd... Homeschooling was never the plan. . . but oh, what a plan! That he called us this way, was mercy manifest. That he has equipped us to continue, is the greatest gift. Even on the hard days, I count it all joy. On the days when Pip, after a week of handling things so well, has a meltdown in the grocery store, complete with screaming and a blow to my chin -- there is joy there. God can work even with our ugliness. Through Christ, God redeems even the most corrupt. He assembles the stray petals, the unseemly stems, and makes things new. He strips away the idolatry of a surgeon desperate to prove her own worth, and points her toward the fount of all worth -- Christ Jesus. There is a deep well of peace in serving God where he has placed you. There is a refining grace, in realizing his work even in the hard moments. There is a profound beauty in redemption -- in the love that breaks forth through brokenness -- if we can only put away our preoccupations, and embrace his will. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." -- 2 Cor 12:9
Kathryn L. Butler
Camille really wanted to draw her. Paulette's face evoked little blades of grass from the roadside, wild violets, forget-me-nots, buttercups. A soft face, open, gentle, luminous, fine like Japanese paper. The lines of sorrow disappeared behind the vapor rising from the tea, and gave way to a thousand little kindnesses at the corners of her eyes. Camille thought she was lovely. Paulette was thinking exactly the same thing. She was so graceful, this young thing, so calm and elegant in her vagabond's trappings. She wished it were spring so she could show her the garden, the quince branches in bloom and the scent of the seringa. No, this girl was not like other girls. An angel from heaven, who had to wear huge bricklayer's boots to stay down here among us.
Anna Gavalda (Hunting and Gathering)
There’s nothing more genuinely aesthetic and beautiful than to love people—love profoundly, love without reason.
Princess Dr. Mercy Uwakwe
DNA, natural ability, study of craft, development of and devotion to an aesthetic philosophy, naked desire for . . . fame? . . . love? . . . admiration? . . . attention? . . . women? . . . sex? . . . and oh, yeah . . . a buck. Then . . . if you want to take it all the way out to the end of the night, a furious fire in the hole that just . . . don’t . . . quit . . . burning.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
Where ever the design of their minds collaborate,then there would not be a horoscope to identify their matching souls, nothing could stop them in their curious push for the aesthetic Love with perceptual clarity, as if a crystalline stream ran forth to beautify their souls.
Nithin Purple (The Bell Ringing Woman: A Blue Bell of Inspiration)
Love blends our souls in the most aesthetic enjoyment
Then there is the curse of the prophet. You know, the one that says any two people that put Christ first can make a relationship work? That is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because it is a simple truth. A curse because people still have that nasty free agency thing, and then, most people don’t read the fine print. Yeah, it is true, but I have to be interested in the person before I can really be certain I want to put Christ first with them. Like ice cream, I have my flavor profile. I like chocolate. I love chocolate with raspberries and brownie bites. I am not a fan of chocolate covered chicken hearts. I am very certain that a chocolate covered poo is still a poo and no amount of chocolate is going to make me interested. So, I have to find my flavor profile first. Of course, there are the aesthetics of chocolate: I like my chocolate brown, especially dark. I don’t understand red velvet (I didn’t even know it was a chocolate until recently…), and white chocolate is just some weird animal parading around in a chocolate suit. I want chocolate with raspberries and brownie bites, but I am also happy with mint chocolate, or mint with chocolate chips. I also like Rocky Road; the list goes on. But I am not a fan of strawberry, unless it is covered in chocolate. That’s just how I roll. If I find someone that I think is my flavor profile, I get excited, but I also get fearful “Dang it, I am going to have to call the NSA to figure this out. Again.
Rick Jacobs
In the beautiful God's glory is revealed as something communicable and intrinsically delightful, as including the creature in its ends, and as completely worthy of love; what God's glory necessitates and commands, beauty shows also to be gracious and inviting; glory calls not only for awe and penitence, but also for rejoicing; God's ordinance is also ordonnance, so to speak. There
David Bentley Hart (The Beauty Of The Infinite: The Aesthetics Of Christian Truth)
The age old idea of human dignity comes to apply even to the indigent, even to the slaves, even to immigrants, now recently even to women. This is not to say that great writing is propaganda. But because the fictional process selects those fit for it, and because a requirement of that process is strong empathetic emotion, it turns out that the true writer's fundamental concern, his reason for finding a subject interesting in the first place, is likely to be humane. He sees injustice or misunderstanding in the world around him, and he cannot keep it out of his story. It may be true that he writes principally for the love of writing, and that in the heat of creation he cares as much about the convincing description of Helen's face as he does about the verities her story brings to focus, but the true literary artist is a far cry from those who create "toy fiction," good or bad--TV entertainments to take the pensioner's mind off his dismal existence, self-regarding aesthetic jokes, posh super-realism, where emotion is ruled out and idea is thought vulgar, or nostalgia fiction, or pornography. The true writer's joy in the fictional process is his pleasure in discovering, by means he can trust, what he believes and can affirm for all time. When the last trump plays, he will be listening, criticizing, figuring out the proper psychic distance. It should be added, for honesty's sake, that the true literary artist and the man or woman who makes "toy fiction" may be the same person in different moods. even on the subject of high seriousness, we must beware of reckless high seriousness.
John Gardner
cycling, and from my first days living in Italy I couldn’t help but feel its influence and importance. It played a pivotal part in where I was, what I was doing and who I was trying to become. Once I was in Italy the Giro was forever on my mind. The thing about Italians is they love to talk. They love to talk about anything, but much in line with their Mediterranean cousins in Greece and Spain they love to debate. In Italian the word is polemica – it is what keeps bars in business, cafés bustling, and it is what makes cycling, along with football and politics, so important. The drama and aesthetic beauty set against the titanic physical struggle of cycling make it the perfect subject matter for this kind of debate. In Italy, while one-day races might provide reasons for a good debate for a day or two at best, the real winner is the Giro. It provides one whole month of conversation and argument, and the newspapers and television stations delight in fuelling the conversation – they exist purely to stoke the fire of debate.
Charly Wegelius (Domestique: The Real-life Ups and Downs of a Tour Pro)
His room was a sickly dual-tone of crimson and charcoal, like an Untitled Rothko, the colours bleeding into each other horribly and then rather serenely. The overall effect was overwhelmingly unapologetic but it grew on you like a wart on your nose you didn't realise it was a part of your identity until one day it simply was. His room was his identity. Fiercely bold, avant-garde but never monotonous. He was red, he was black, he was bored, and he was fire. At least to me he seemed like fire. A tornado of fire that burned all in its wake leaving only the wretched brightness of annihilation. His room was where he charmed and disarmed us. We were his playthings. Nobody plays with fire and leaves unscarred. The fire soon seeps into chard and soot. The colours of his soul, his aura, and probably his heart if he didn't stop smoking.
Moonshine Noire
Nothing – and I mean, really, absolutely nothing – is more extraordinary in Britain than the beauty of the countryside. Nowhere in the world is there a landscape that has been more intensively utilized – more mined, farmed, quarried, covered with cities and clanging factories, threaded with motorways and railway lines – and yet remains so comprehensively and reliably lovely over most of its extent. It is the happiest accident in history. In terms of natural wonders, you know, Britain is a pretty unspectacular place. It has no alpine peaks or broad rift valleys, no mighty gorges or thundering cataracts. It is built to really quite a modest scale. And yet with a few unassuming natural endowments, a great deal of time and an unfailing instinct for improvement, the makers of Britain created the most superlatively park-like landscapes, the most orderly cities, the handsomest provincial towns, the jauntiest seaside resorts, the stateliest homes, the most dreamily spired, cathedral-rich, castle-strewn, abbey-bedecked, folly-scattered, green-wooded, winding-laned, sheep-dotted, plumply hedgerowed, well-tended, sublimely decorated 88,386 square miles the world has ever known – almost none of it undertaken with aesthetics in mind, but all of it adding up to something that is, quite often, perfect. What an achievement that is. And
Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain)
Jabril’s epicurean tongue rimmed at my anal receptacle before jabbing into my tunnel of love with abandon. His commanding lividity drove my tilting pelvis to receive slivers of his dripping saliva. He was preparing me for the feast of the gods. And I was delighted to suffice. Much like my Valet relishing the helmsman’s mightiness, Victor devoured the captain’s prowess with avid ferocity. Spittle of beaming wetness coated their organs. Tad led me above deck while the men followed suit. Pulling me atop a comfortable mattress, I straddled the athlete with aplomb, kissing his succulent mouth with wanton fervency. Quivers of euphoric rhapsody surged through my body when his tumid avidity eased into my passageway of forbidden love. His bouncing gyrations commingled with my lustful kisses brought our hankering spirits into a unified entity. Just as this newfound vivacity took hold, I felt another force in my core. This elevated double entry catapulted me into an uncharted and blissful realm. The captain and the champion tantalized my tightness with symmetrical cadences as we tangoed to the rhythm of the lapping waves. Tad’s provocative expertise, coalescing with Fahrib’s rousing mastery, hurled my frenzied soul to an intensified crescendo of erotic gratification. Rainbows of aesthetic enthusiasm flashed before me as Andy and Victor mirrored one another as the Levantine logerez himself onto their throbbing hardness simultaneously. He was at once in agony and ecstasy before his misshapen expression transformed into gleeful entrancement. Heaving sighs of euphoric relief, he accommodated both obelisks with pride.
Young (Turpitude (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 4))
-Still, it wouldn't hurt to show him a little encouragement. He might be handy to have around this summer. -Use him, you mean?- asked Lena. -Of course! What other purpose do boys serve? You can use them for all sort of things: carrying, building, fixing, remembering. And some of them are quite nice to look at. -There are practical and aesthetic advantages to the idea of keeping one on hand- admitted Lena From: "Love is the last resort" by Jon Skovron
Stephanie Perkins (Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories)
The natural sciences have the clearest patterns. Physics admits of a lovely unification, not just at the level of fundamental forces, but when considering its extent and implications. Classifications like ‘optics’ or ‘thermodynamics’ are just straitjackets, preventing physicists from seeing countless intersections. Even putting aside aesthetics, the practical applications that have been overlooked are legion; years ago engineers could have been artificially generating spherically symmetric gravity fields. Having
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
What is there about fire that's so lovely? Not matter what age we are, what draws us to it? It's perpetual motion; the thing man wanted to invent but never did. Or almost perpetual motion. If you let it go on, it'd burn our lifetimes out. What is fire? It's a mystery. Scientists give us gobbledegook about friction and molecules. But they don't really know. Its real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences. A problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it. Now, Montag, you're a burden. And fire will lift you off my shoulders, clean, quick, sure; nothing to rot later. Antibiotic, aesthetic, practical.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Two or three days like the beginning of love... The value of this for the aesthete is in the feelings it produces. To go further would be to enter the realm of jealousy, suffering and anxiety. In this antechamber of emotion there's all the sweetness of love - hints of pleasure, whiffs of passion - without any of its depth. If this means giving up the grandeur of tragic love, we must remember that tragedies, for the aesthete, are interesting to observe but unpleasant to experience. The cultivation of life hinders that of the imagination. It is the aloof, uncommon man who rules. No doubt this theory would satisfy me, if I could convince myself that it's not what it is: a complicated jabber to fill the ears of my intelligence, to make it almost forget that at heart I'm just timid, with no aptidude for life.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
As long as the Atonement remains a legal, juridical, or psychological matter, it will remain in the realm of the aesthetic, Love at First Hand, “it’s all about me.” The atonement must be a drama whose characters are loftier than a jealous deity, subtler than a cunning adversary, holier than a selfless hero, and nobler than a cowering humanity.
J. Earp
You do understand what I mean!” he exclaimed, pleased to see Maude responding to his song. “I chose Nina Simone to show you something else. Just like you, Nina Simone had a classical background. When she was younger, she wanted to become a concert pianist. Her skill was beyond measure and she used it in a wide repertoire of jazz, blues, and R&B songs. And I think you can do the same. Music knows no limits and I truly understand why James insisted on signing you, Maude.” Maude remained silent, still thinking about his rendition of Nina Simone. “All you have to do is dig deeper. Try finding some suffering in you. Don’t sing the Cenerentola with a smile. Although you look like a girl who’s had it all. You know, the nice girl from the North of France, who grew up in a quiet, small town with her loving mom and dad and brothers and sisters, always top of her class, quick-tempered when things didn’t go her way. A bit spoiled, I guess. You have to put all that—” “Spoiled?” Maude blurted in utter disbelief, the word echoing through her mind. Of all the things he could’ve said about her, spoiled was the last word that could have appeared remotely appropriate to describe her. As for suffering, she’d had plenty of that, too, which is why she didn’t want to think about it. Not while she was so happy in New York and Carvin and the Ruchets were the last thing she wanted in her head. She painfully pushed the Ruchets away from her mind and turned to Matt, eyes flaring up again. “You know nothing about me, Matt,” she said, her voice quivering with emotion. “And you obviously know nothing about suffering, or you wouldn’t idealize it the way that you do. You see it as a romantic notion that seemingly gives depth to songwriting. And it does. Not because the singers actually thought of woe in a purely aesthetic way, but because that’s how they actually lived. You will never understand that,” she finished, trembling from head to toe. And with that, she grabbed her bag, coat, gloves, scarf, and stormed out of Matt’s Creation Room, slamming the door behind her.
Anna Adams (A French Girl in New York (The French Girl, #1))
Fairest of the deathless gods. This idea the Greeks had of him is best summed up not by a poet, but by a philosopher, Plato: "Love—Eros—makes his home in men's hearts, but not in every heart, for where there is hardness he departs. His greatest glory is that he cannot do wrong nor allow it; force never comes near him. For all men serve of him their own free will. And he whom Love touches not walks in darkness.
Edith Hamilton (Mythology)
Fairest of the deathless gods. This idea the Greeks had of him is best summed up not by a poet, but by a philosopher, Plato: "Love—Eros—makes his home in men's hearts, but not in every heart, for where there is hardness he departs. His greatest glory is that he cannot do wrong nor allow it; force never comes near him. For all men serve of him their own free will. And he whom Love touches not walks in darkness.
Edith Hamilton (Mythology)
For most of our history, walking wasn’t a choice. It was a given. Walking was our primary means of locomotion. But, today, you have to choose to walk. We ride to work. Office buildings and apartments have elevators. Department stores offer escalators. Airports use moving sidewalks. An afternoon of golf is spent riding in a cart. Even a ramble around your neighborhood can be done on a Segway. Why not just put one foot in front of the other? You don’t have to live in the country. It’s great to take a walk in the woods, but I love to roam city streets, too, especially in places like New York, London, or Rome, where you can’t go half a block without making some new discovery. A long stroll slows you down, puts things in perspective, brings you back to the present moment. In Wanderlust: A History of Walking (Viking, 2000), author Rebecca Solnit writes that, “Walking, ideally, is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though they were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord.” Yet in our hectic, goal-oriented culture, taking a leisurely walk isn’t always easy. You have to plan for it. And perhaps you should. Walking is good exercise, but it is also a recreation, an aesthetic experience, an exploration, an investigation, a ritual, a meditation. It fosters health and joie de vivre. Cardiologist Paul Dudley White once said, “A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” A good walk is anything but pedestrian. It lengthens your life. It clears, refreshes, provokes, and repairs the mind. So lace up those shoes and get outside. The most ancient exercise is still the best.
Alexander Green (Beyond Wealth: The Road Map to a Rich Life)
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. ALBERT EINSTEIN I am made to love the pond and the meadow, as the wind is made to ripple the water. HENRY DAVID THOREAU I hold to the presupposition that our loss of the sense of aesthetic unity was, quite simply, an epistemological mistake. I believe that that mistake may be more serious than all the minor insanities that characterized those older epistemologies which agreed upon fundamental unity. GREGORY BATESON
Stephen Harrod Buhner (Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth)
The first stanza of Eyes In Moonlight Drown, a poem from DeadVerse. With your face framed in a halo of stars, your hair melts into trailing clouds, and your eyes in moonlight drown. A man could lose himself in those freckled irises, reflecting the galaxies above; surely he could fall into their promise of eternity, of Heaven, of love. Your lips glisten, part, and beckon, a smile of warm invitation, a suggestion of sweet intensity, a loss of self in addictive agony. For we translate these aesthetics into something mystical; ideas of fantasy, of fiction, obscuring the clinical truth of chemical reactions, electric sparks, responses as sure as gravity, measurable yet beyond cold, above philosophy and below truth.
Scott Kaelen (DeadVerse: The Poetry of Scott Kaelen, Volume One)
Chanel would come to be known for a fashion sensibility distinguished by modern, airy lightness, crisp lines, and sparse adornments, but under Boy’s guidance (and with the help of his pocketbook), she indulged a somewhat different aesthetic sense at home. The avenue Gabriel apartment reflected Coco and Boy’s love of deep, golden tones, ornate lacquered furniture, mirrors in gilt frames, floral designs, English silver, Oriental vases, white satin bedding, and sofas piled with soft, puffy cushions—all enclosed by those dark folding screens.
Rhonda K. Garelick (Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History)
the words, actions and sufferings of Jesus form an aesthetic unity, held together by the ‘style’ of unconditional love.
Hans Urs von Balthasar (Mysterium Paschale)
In his person, life, death and resurrection, Jesus Christ is the ‘form of God’. As presented in the New Testament writings, the words, actions and sufferings of Jesus form an aesthetic unity, held together by the ‘style’ of unconditional love. Love is always beautiful, because it expresses the self-diffusiveness of being, and so is touched by being’s radiance, the pulchrum. But the unconditional, gracious, sacrificial love of Jesus Christ expresses not just the mystery of being—finite being—but the mystery of the Source of being, the transcendent communion of love which we call the Trinity.25 Thus through the Gestalt Christi, the love which God is shines through to the world. This is Balthasar’s basic intuition.
Hans Urs von Balthasar (Mysterium Paschale)
No: I want nothing. I’ve already said I want nothing. Don’t come to me with conclusions! The only conclusion is death. Don’t bring me aesthetics! Don’t speak to me of morals! Get out of here with metaphysics! Don’t trumpet complete systems, don’t line up conquests Of science (science, my God, science!) — Of the sciences, the arts, of modern civilization! What harm did I ever do all the gods? If they have the truth, let them keep it! I’m a technician, but I have technique only in technique. Beyond that I’m crazy, with every right to be so. With every right to be so, do you hear? Don’t bother me, for the love of God! Did they want me married, futile, quotidian and taxable? Did they want me the opposite of that, the opposite of anything? If I were another person, I would’ve done what they wanted. The way I am, give me a break! Go to hell without me, Or let me go alone! Why do we have to go together? Don’t take me by the arm! I don’t like being taken by the arm. I want to be alone. I just told you: I’m alone! Ah, what a nuisance, them wanting to keep me company! The blue sky — the same as in my childhood — Eternal truth, empty and perfect! O River Tejo, glassy, ancestral, mute, Small truth where the sky reflects itself! O sorrows revisited, Lisbon past and present! You give nothing, you take nothing, you’re nothing I feel. Leave me in peace! I’m not dallying, I never dally... And as long as the Abyss and Silence dally, I want to be alone!
Fernando Pessoa
shoes are supreme symbols of aesthetic, and hence by extension psychological, compatibility. Certain areas and coverings of the body say more about a person than others: shoes suggest more than pullovers, thumbs more than elbows, underwear more than overcoats, ankles more than shoulders. 7.
Alain de Botton (Essays in Love)
I love deeply and admire the beauties of life and its expression in many different art forms. I am an aesthetic philosopher.
Debasish Mridha
Better a fallen rocket than never a burst of light. Dante reserved a place in his Inferno for those who wilfully live in sadness - sullen in the sweet air, he says. Your 'honour' is all shame and timidity and compliance. Pure of stain! But the artist is the secret criminal in our midst. He is the agent of progress against authority. you are right to be a scholar. A scholar is all scruple, an artist is none. The artist must lie, cheat, deceive, be untrue to nature and contemptuous of history. I made my life into my art and it was an unqualified success. The blaze of my immolation threw its light into every corner of the land where uncounted young men sat each in his own darkness. What would I have done in Megara!? - think what I would have missed! I awoke the imagination of the century. I banged Ruskin's and Pater's heads together, and from the moral severity of one and the aesthetic soul of the other I made art a philosophy that can look the twentieth century in the eye. I had genius, brilliancy, daring, I took charge of my own myth. I dipped my staff into the comb of wild honey. I tasted forbidden sweetness and drank the stolen waters. I lived at the turning point of the world where everything was waking up new - the New Drama, the New Novel, New Journalism, New Hedonism, New Paganism, even the New Woman. Where were you when all this was happening?
Tom Stoppard (The Invention of Love)
The faithful living out of the tropos of the incarnate Christ is the challenge that faces us in all these areas, and what it entails (so Bonhoeffer and Przywara alike insist) is the patient embrace of finitude, the refusal of defensive anxiety about the Church’s privilege or influence, the recognition and valuing of the unspectacular, in life and art, as the site where we may expect the paradoxical radiance of the infinite to become visible. Christian ethics is not about dramatic and solitary choices for individual good or evil but the steady building of a culture of durable mutuality and compassion. Christian aesthetics is not about genius-driven or near-magical transmutations of this world into some imagined semblance of divine glory and abundance, but the gift of unlocking in the most ordinary setting or object the ‘grace of sense’ that allows it to be seen with (to use the word again) durable, attentive love. And Christian metaphysics? Przywara’s work clearly understands the role of Christology in developing a schematic and consistent view of analogy, depending on the recognition that whatever comes into intellectual focus in our human understanding is always already implicated in relations that make its life more than a single and containable phenomenon but something opening out on to an unlimited horizon of connection... ...authentic theology shows itself, in self-forgetting and self-dispossessing practice. The theology that we write and discuss has no substance independently of this formal content, this knowledge of how to ‘enact Christ’ in the world. And it is because of this that Przywara resists a reading of St John of the Cross’s spiritual teaching which simply identifies the ‘night of spirit’ with the negation of the creaturely. Put like this, it can suggest yet another form of the competitive ontological model which we struggle to escape from – more world, less God, and vice versa. But St John properly read – giving priority to the poems rather than the commentaries on them – characterizes the night as participation in the act of Christ the Word. The darkness of our prayer is not the result of a straightforward gap between what we can know as creatures and the unknowable depths of God, the infinite dissimilarity between finite and infinite; it is our assimilation into the infinite’s self-unveiling in the dark places of the finite world, in the wordless helplessness of the cross. And because it is in this way an entry deeper and deeper into the centre of God’s activity, it is a journey into the ‘excess’ of divine light, the overflowing of God’s absolute abundance, which is itself nothing else than agape directed towards the life and joy of the other – in the divine life and in the relation of divine to non-divine life.
Rowan Williams
my lover stays lanes apart but it feels like continents once he stops replying on whatsapp: he has checked my story on instagram but one of these days, social media will be the death of me. my lover shows up on my door unannounced, two different flavours of doughnuts in his hand, he knows i have been crying. they'd taste better if they weren't so soggy, but i have enough filters on my phone to make them look pretty, my friends would be jealous, favourite desserts from half-closed, overpriced airport shops, a hundred cities away. my lover holds my hand A hasn't called me back he says, their boyfriends do not get them their and kisses my neck, i wish there was a song by the 1975 playing in the background, but instagram music isn't supported in my region. i haven't seen him in eight days, it's funny when i write it down because i was sure it was a millennium, we yearn for skin, touch, smell, but let me quickly take a photograph, make him look like he's not looking, our love can go stale, but my social media needs to keep its aesthetic game strong. two boomerangs, seven filters, and one kissing selfie later, we explode. without words, without music. i feel like it's my first kiss again. this is how it must have felt to be in love a thousand years ago.
Shlagha borah
I don’t see much that is humble or inquisitive in gardens composed of hosta, daylily, barberry, miscanthus, Russian sage, or feather reed grass—plants that have no shared evolutionary history with wildlife anywhere In North America. I don’t see much in the way of compassion, respect, community, mercy or love in gardens composed of plants like this because these gardens are not reaching out to the essential wildness still among us…. ….Native plant gardening does not limit your aesthetic choices; it expands your ethical ones.
Benjamin Vogt (A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future)
One has but to consider the phenomenon of fashion, which has never been satisfactorily explained. Fashion is the despair of sociology and aesthetics: a prodigious contagion of forms in which chain reactions struggle for supremacy over the logic of distinctions. The pleasure of fashion is undeniably cultural in origin, but does it not stem even more clearly from a flaring, unmediated consensus generated by the interplay of signs? Moreover, fashions fade away like epidemics once they have ravaged the imagination, once the virus has run its course. The price to be paid in terms of waste is always exorbitant, yet everyone consents. The marvellous in our societies resides in this ultra-rapid circulation of signs at a surface level (as opposed to the ultra-slow circulation of meanings). We love being contaminated by this process, and not having to think about it. This is a viral onslaught as noxious as the plague, yet no moral sociology, no philosophical reason, will ever extirpate it. Fashion is an irreducible phenomenon because it partakes of a crazy, viral, mediationless form of communication which operates so fast for the sole reason that it never passes via the mediation of meaning. Anything that bypasses mediation is a source of pleasure. In seduction there is a movement from the one to the other which does not pass via the same. (In cloning, it is the opposite: the movement is from the same to the same without passage via the other; and cloning holds great fascination for us.) In metamorphosis, the shift is from one form to another without passing via meaning. In poetry, from one sign to another without passing via the reference. The collapsing of distances, of intervening spaces, always produces a kind of intoxication. What does speed itself mean to us if not the fact of going from one place to another without traversing time, from one moment to another without passing via duration and movement? Speed is marvellous: time alone is wearisome.
Jean Baudrillard
The natural sciences have the clearest patterns. Physics admits of a lovely unification, not just at the level of fundamental forces, but when considering its extent and implications. Classifications like “optics” or “thermodynamics” are just straitjackets, preventing physicists from seeing countless intersections. Even putting aside aesthetics, the practical applications that have been overlooked are legion; years ago engineers could have been artifically generating spherically symmetric gravity fields.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
He did not change the subject but developed it into another that had interested him recently, the precise influence of Desire upon our aesthetic judgements. Look at that picture, for instance. I love it because, like the painter himself, I love the subject. I don't judge it with eyes of the normal man. There seem two roads for arriving at Beauty—one is in common, and all the world has reached Michelangelo by it, but the other is private to me and a few more. We come to him by both roads. On the other hand Greuze —his subject matter repels me. I can only get to him down one road. The rest of the world finds two.
E.M. Forster
And yet, while I recognize the problem intellectually—the system of coding, the way villainy and queerness became a kind of shorthand for each other—I cannot help but love these fictional queer villains. I love them for all of their aesthetic lushness and theatrical glee, their fabulousness, their ruthlessness, their power. They’re always by far the most interesting characters on the screen. After all, they live in a world that hates them. They’ve adapted; they’ve learned to conceal themselves. They’ve survived.
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
In the Japanese vision of winter, in Japanese poetry, and Japanese prints have an imagery of the “floating world,” where there is no notion that winter has in any way fallen from the hand of God, or is in any way evidence of cosmic organization. The Japanese idea of winter simply speaks of winter as simultaneously empty and full; the emptying out of nature by cold, and it’s also the filling up of the world by wind and snow… the Japanese idea of winter marked the final transformation of winter, and the idea of winter in Europe in the nineteenth century…Monet gets from the Japanese wood block prints a new infatuation with pure white-not a white that’s laid down unvaryingly with a single brushstroke, but instead a white that is made up kaleidoscopically with tiny touches of prismatic color. This is sweet winter at its sweetest, a winter so sweet that it loses the tang of the picturesque and becomes entirely exquisite- not pretty but deeply, renewingly lovely…winter becomes another kind of spring, a spring for aesthetes who find April’s green too common, but providing the same emotional lift of hope, the same pleasure of serene, unfolding slowness; the slow weight of frost, the chromatic varnishing of snow on the boughs of the chestnut tree, the still dawn scene, the semi-frozen river.
Adam Gopnik (Winter: Five Windows on the Season)
In 1799, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge goes to Germany on a winter walking trip and writes home to his wife about the opposite sense: of winter as a mysterious magnetic season that the wanderer is expelled into for his own good, for the purification and improvement of his soul. “What sublime scenery I have beheld!” Coleridge’s’ words are one of those rare passages of prose that truly mark the arrival of an epoch. It would be impossible to find anything like it in European literature only twenty-five years before… This kind of love of the winter scene is not of the force outside pressing in on the window, bringing family together. Instead it is for the ice-spirit pulling us out. This winter window is wrenched open by the level of the sublime. The new idea (of winter’s beauty) is associated with Edmund Burke’s great essay on the sublime and beautiful from the middle of the eighteenth century. Burke’s was one of the three or four most powerful ideas in the history of thought, because he wrenched aesthetics away from the insipid idea of beauty (physical, manicured) towards recognition of the full span of human sympathy. Oceans and thunderstorms, precipices and abysses, towering volcanoes and, above all, snow-capped mountains- they rival and outdo the heritage of classical beauty exactly because they frighten us; they fill us with fear, with awe, with a sense of the inestimable mystery of the world.
Adam Gopnik (Winter: Five Windows on the Season)
I readily admit that I am not a minimalist. I find solace in the fact that the traditional Japanese minimal aesthetic was made possible by the equally traditional kura (storehouse) where the items not in use or on display in the home would be kept. I like being surrounded by things that inspire me and allow me to start new projects instantly. I know it’s wrong, but I do judge people. An obsession with minimalism has always smacked to me of a romanticism of poverty (and potentially an outdated one at that) from a wealthy perspective. I think of Marie Antoinette having a little farm built on the castle grounds so that she could play at being a peasant shepherdess. Considered minimalism in this day and age is generally a pastime for those with the affluence to buy (or rebuy) what they need, when they need it. The considered minimalist needn’t be as resourceful about keeping things around “just in case,” because, at any moment, he or she can replenish the shelves with abundance.
Clara Parkes (A Stash of One's Own: Knitters on Loving, Living with, and Letting Go of Yarn)
If you want to love and create common bonds you have to understand what makes the other person tick, what his faith is all about. You don't merely respect his religion, but you have a curiosity about it, an awareness.
Pamela G. Smart (Sacred Modern: Faith, Activism, and Aesthetics in the Menil Collection)
He regarded music as a prime agent for unity and uplift in a nation whose tendencies to fragmentation and political corruption he saw clearly. Even more than oratory, music offered a meeting place of aesthetics and egalitarianism. If, in Whitman’s eyes, urban roughs gravitated to anarchic violence and politicians to shysterism, all could be potentially redeemed by their common love for music. For all the downward tendencies he perceived among contemporary Americans, he took confidence in the shared love of music.
David S. Reynolds (Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography)
I love the waves of your lips The symmetries of your eyes The gazes The smiles
The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Oh, what a pleasure that was! Mollie Katzen's handwritten and illustrated recipes that recalled some glorious time in upstate New York when a girl with an appetite could work at a funky vegetarian restaurant and jot down some tasty favorites between shifts. That one had the Pumpkin Tureen soup that Margo had made so many times when she first got the book. She loved the cheesy onion soup served from a pumpkin with a hot dash of horseradish and rye croutons. And the Cardamom Coffee Cake, full of butter, real vanilla, and rich brown sugar, said to be a favorite at the restaurant, where Margo loved to imagine the patrons picking up extras to take back to their green, grassy, shady farmhouses dotted along winding country roads. Linda's Kitchen by Linda McCartney, Paul's first wife, the vegetarian cookbook that had initially spurred her yearlong attempt at vegetarianism (with cheese and eggs, thank you very much) right after college. Margo used to have to drag Calvin into such phases and had finally lured him in by saying that surely anything Paul would eat was good enough for them. Because of Linda's Kitchen, Margo had dived into the world of textured vegetable protein instead of meat, and tons of soups, including a very good watercress, which she never would have tried without Linda's inspiration. It had also inspired her to get a gorgeous, long marble-topped island for prep work. Sometimes she only cooked for the aesthetic pleasure of the gleaming marble topped with rustic pottery containing bright fresh veggies, chopped to perfection. Then Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells caught her eye, and she took it down. Some pages were stuck together from previous cooking nights, but the one she turned to, the most splattered of all, was the one for Onion Soup au Gratin, the recipe that had taught her the importance of cheese quality. No mozzarella or broken string cheeses with- maybe- a little lacy Swiss thrown on. And definitely none of the "fat-free" cheese that she'd tried in order to give Calvin a rich dish without the cholesterol. No, for this to be great, you needed a good, aged, nutty Gruyère from what you couldn't help but imagine as the green grassy Alps of Switzerland, where the cows grazed lazily under a cheerful children's-book blue sky with puffy white clouds. Good Gruyère was blocked into rind-covered rounds and aged in caves before being shipped fresh to the USA with a whisper of fairy-tale clouds still lingering over it. There was a cheese shop downtown that sold the best she'd ever had. She'd tried it one afternoon when she was avoiding returning home. A spunky girl in a visor and an apron had perked up as she walked by the counter, saying, "Cheese can change your life!" The charm of her youthful innocence would have been enough to be cheered by, but the sample she handed out really did it. The taste was beyond delicious. It was good alone, but it cried out for ham or turkey or a rich beefy broth with deep caramelized onions for soup.
Beth Harbison (The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship)
Camp taste is a kind of love, love for human nature. It relishes, rather than judges, the little triumphs and awkward intensities of "character.
Susan Sontag (Against Interpretation and Other Essays)