Many attempts have been made by writers on art and poetry to define beauty in the abstract, to express it in the most general terms, to find some universal formula for it.
All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.
We have our Arts so we won't die of Truth- Ray Bradbury
The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward sign...- Aristotle
Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: wh...- C. S. Lewis
Life is serious but art is fun- John Irving
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.- Albert Einstein
One of the most beautiful passages of Rousseau is that in the sixth book of Confessions, where he describes the awakening in him of the literary sense. Of such wisdom, the poetic passion, the desire of beauty, the love of art for its own sake, has most.
A very intimate sense of the expressiveness of outward things, which ponders, listens, penetrates, where the earlier, less developed consciousness passed lightly by, is an important element in the general temper of our modern poetry.
Experience, already reduced to a group of impressions, is ringed round for each one of us by that thick wall of personality through which no real voice has ever pierced on its way to us, or from us to that which we can only conjecture to be without.
In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes two persons, things, situations, seem alike.
|Birth:||4th August, 1839|
|Death:||30th July, 1994|
Born in Stepney in London's East End, Walter Pater was the second son of Richard Glode Pater, a physician who had moved to London in the early 19th century to practise medicine among the poor. Dr Pater died while Walter was an infant and the family moved to Enfield, London. Walter attended Enfield Grammar School and was individually tutored by the headmaster.
In 1853 he was sent to The King's School, Canterbury, where the beauty of the cathedral made an impression that would remain with him all his life. He was fourteen when his mother, Maria Pater, died in 1854. As a schoolboy Pater read John Ruskin's Modern Painters, which helped inspire his lifelong attraction to the study of art and gave him a taste for well-crafted prose. He gained a school exhibition, with which he proceeded in 1858 to Queen’s College, Oxford.
As an undergraduate Pater was a "reading man", with literary and philosophical interests beyond the prescribed texts. Flaubert, Gautier, Baudelaire and Swinburne were among his early favourites. Visiting his aunt and sisters in Germany during the vacations he learned German and began to read Hegel and the German philosophers. The scholar Benjamin Jowett was struck by his potential and offered to give him private lessons. In Jowett's classes, however, Pater was a disappointment; he took a Second in literae humaniores in 1862. As a boy Pater had cherished the idea of entering the Anglican Church, but at Oxford his faith in Christianity had been shaken. In spite of his inclination towards the ritual and aesthetic elements of the church, he had little interest in Christian doctrine and did not pursue ordination. After graduating, Pater remained in Oxford and taught Classics and Philosophy to private students. His years of study and reading now paid dividends: he was offered a classical fellowship in 1864 at Brasenose on the strength of his ability to teach modern German philosophy, and he settled down to a university career.
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