We must recover the feelings and sensitivities which were once the common property of all civilized people. Those works of art, of literature, of music, which are pre-modern are of essential value for us. They can teach us, as will nothing we ourselves now produce, what nobility is, what virtue is, what honor and purity are, what sacrifice and loyalty are, what is worthy and what is not. Poetry, music, art, fiction, are not spiritual food, but are rather the milk and bread we need to strengthen ourselves to live on the meat of the spirit.
We have almost forgotten the sight and sound and feel of the sublime. To regain it we must return to a time when the gray, gritty moral fog had not yet settled over the world: a time when men’s sight was still clear and their souls still keen. If we cannot manage the uplands of the soul we shall hardly be able to touch the peaks of the spirit. Hardened by the din and moral cacophony of our world, our hearts are cold and our consciences numb. We are little moved by pity, honor, nobility, purity, because we seldom or never see them. We are even little moved by beauty, because we hardly know what it is. Like most value-terms, ‘beauty’ has become almost contentless, a word empty of any absolute meaning. Beauty is now whatever we like, or whatever someone tells us is beautiful. Art is whatever someone chooses to call art. There are, ostensibly, no longer any valid reasons for refusing to admit that a pile of rusty hubcaps and bent pipe is ‘art’ in the same way that Rembrandt is ‘art.’
—Sisters of St. Xenia’s Skete, Literature, Culture and the Western Soul (via zerogate)
Good art can come out of thieves, bootleggers, or horse swipes. People really are afraid to find out just how much hardship and poverty they can stand. They are afraid to find out how tough they are. Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death. Good ones don’t have time to bother with success or getting rich. Success is feminine and like a woman; if you cringe before her, she will override you. So the way to treat her is to show her the back of your hand. Then maybe she will do the crawling.
— William Faulkner (via oldroze)
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance, and this, and not the external manner and detail, is true reality.
—Aristotle. (via vcrfl)