Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Extracts From Hegel's "Lectures on Aesthetics"

“The beauty of art presents itself to sense, to feeling, to perception, to imagination; its sphere is not that of thought, and the apprehension of its activity and its productions demand another organ than that of scientific intelligence. Moreover, what we enjoy in the beauty of art is precisely the freedom of its productive and plastic enegrgies. In the origination, as in the contemplation, of its creations we appear to escape wholly from the fetters and rules of regularity.”

“We would exchange the shadowland of the idea for cheerful vigorous reality. And lastly, the source of artistic creations is the free activity of fancy, which in her imagination is more free than nature’s self. Not only has art at command the whole wealth of natural forms in the brilliant variety of their appearance, but also the creative imagination has power to expatiate inexhaustibly beyond their limit in products of its own.”

“And on the other hand seeing that art is what cheers and animates the dull and withered dryness of the idea, reconciles with reality its abstraction and its dissociation therefrom, and supplies out of the real world what is lacking to the notion, it follows, we may think, that a purely intellectual treatment of art destroys this very means of supplementation, annihilates it, and reduces the idea once more to its simplicity devoid of reality, and to its shadowy abstractness.”

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