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Paperback, Pages. This item has not been rated yet. Hint: You can preview this book by clicking on "Preview" which is located under the cover of this book. On January, 3rd, , Aaron ordered three Big Macs from his local McDonalds and was left sitting in the bathroom for quite some time. Between , he was employed at NeXT as a developer and trainer. But, with the majority, though their force be abated, they continue through life.
Moreover, the fire of youth is too vivacious an element to be extinguished or damped by a philosophical remark; and, while there is no danger that what has been said will be injurious or painful to the ardent and the confident, it may prove beneficial to those who, being enthusiastic, are, at the same time, modest and ingenuous. The intimation may unite with their own misgivings to regulate their sensibility, and to bring in, sooner than it would otherwise have arrived, a more discreet and sound judgement.
If it should excite wonder that men of ability, in later life, whose understandings have been rendered acute by practice in affairs, should be so easily and so far imposed upon when they happen to take up a new work in verse, this appears to be the cause;—that, having discontinued their attention to poetry, whatever progress may have been made in other departments of knowledge, they have not, as to this art, advanced in true discernment beyond the age of youth.
If, then, a new poem fall in their way, whose attractions are of that kind which would have enraptured them during the heat of youth, the judgement not being improved to a degree that they shall be disgusted, they are dazzled; and prize and cherish the faults for having had power to make the present time vanish before them, and to throw the mind back, as by enchantment, into the happiest season of life.
As they read, powers seem to be revived, passions are regenerated, and pleasures restored. The Book was probably taken up after an escape from the burden of business, and with a wish to forget the world, and all its vexations and anxieties. Having obtained this wish, and so much more, it is natural that they should make report as they have felt. If Men of mature age, through want of practice, be thus easily beguiled into admiration of absurdities, extravagances, and misplaced ornaments, thinking it proper that their understandings should enjoy a holiday, while they are unbending their minds with verse, it may be expected that such Readers will resemble their former selves also in strength of prejudice, and an inaptitude to be moved by the unostentatious beauties of a pure style.
In the higher poetry, an enlightened Critic chiefly looks for a reflection of the wisdom of the heart and the grandeur of the imagination. Wherever these appear, simplicity accompanies them; Magnificence herself, when legitimate, depending upon a simplicity of her own, to regulate her ornaments. But it is a well-known property of human nature, that our estimates are ever governed by comparisons, of which we are conscious with various degrees of distinctness. Is it not, then, inevitable confining these observations to the effects of style merely that an eye, accustomed to the glaring hues of diction by which such Readers are caught and excited, will for the most part be rather repelled than attracted by an original Work, the colouring of which is disposed according to a pure and refined scheme of harmony?
It is in the fine arts as in the affairs of life, no man can serve i. As Poetry is most just to its own divine origin when it administers the comforts and breathes the spirit of religion, they who have learned to perceive this truth, and who betake themselves to reading verse for sacred purposes, must be preserved from numerous illusions to which the two Classes of Readers, whom we have been considering, are liable.
But, as the mind grows serious from the weight of life, the range of its passions is contracted accordingly; and its sympathies become so exclusive, that many species of high excellence wholly escape, or but languidly excite, its notice. Besides, men who read from religious or moral inclinations, even when the subject is of that kind which they approve, are beset with misconceptions and mistakes peculiar to themselves.
Attaching so much importance to the truths which interest them, they are prone to overrate the Authors by whom those truths are expressed and enforced. Love, if it before existed, is converted into dislike; and the heart of the Reader is set against the Author and his book. For when Christianity, the religion of humility, is founded upon the proudest faculty of our nature, what can be expected but contradictions?
Accordingly, believers of this cast are at one time contemptuous; at another, being troubled, as they are and must be, with inward misgivings, they are jealous and suspicious;—and at all seasons, they are under temptation to supply by the heat with which they defend their tenets, the animation which is wanting to the constitution of the religion itself.
Faith was given to man that his affections, detached from the treasures of time, might be inclined to settle upon those of eternity;—the elevation of his nature, which this habit produces on earth, being to him a presumptive evidence of a future state of existence; and giving him a title to partake of its holiness. The concerns of religion refer to indefinite objects, and are too weighty for the mind to support them without relieving itself by resting a great part of the burthen upon words and symbols. The commerce between Man and his Maker cannot be carried on but by a process where much is represented in little, and the Infinite Being accommodates himself to a finite capacity.
In all this may be perceived the affinity between religion and poetry; between religion—making up the deficiencies of reason by faith; and poetry—passionate for the instruction of reason; between religion—whose element is infinitude, and whose ultimate trust is the supreme of things, submitting herself to circumscription, and reconciled to substitutions; and poetry—ethereal and transcendent, yet incapable to sustain her existence without sensuous incarnation.
In this community of nature may be perceived also the lurking incitements of kindred error;—so that we shall find that no poetry has been more subject to distortion, than that species, the argument and scope of which is religious; and no lovers of the art have gone farther astray than the pious and the devout. Whither then shall we turn for that union of qualifications which must necessarily exist before the decisions of a critic can be of absolute value? For a mind at once poetical and philosophical; for a critic whose affections are as free and kindly as the spirit of society, and whose understanding is severe as that of dispassionate government?
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Where are we to look for that initiatory composure of mind which no selfishness can disturb? For a natural sensibility that has been tutored into correctness without losing anything of its quickness; and for active faculties, capable of answering the demands which an Author of original imagination shall make upon them, associated with a judgement that cannot be duped into admiration by aught that is unworthy of it? At the same time it must be observed—that, as this Class comprehends the only judgements which are trustworthy, so does it include the most erroneous and perverse.
For to be mistaught is worse than to be untaught; and no perverseness equals that which is supported by systems, no errors are so difficult to root out as those which the understanding has pledged its credit to uphold. In this Class are contained censors, who, if they be pleased with what is good, are pleased with it only by imperfect glimpses, and upon false principles; who, should they generalize rightly, to a certain point, are sure to suffer for it in the end; who, if they stumble upon a sound rule, are fettered by misapplying it, or by straining it too far; being incapable of perceiving when it ought to yield to one of higher order.
In this class meet together the two extremes of best and worst.
Art Therapy: An Introduction, 2nd edition
The observations presented in the foregoing series are of too ungracious a nature to have been made without reluctance; and, were it only on this account, I would invite the reader to try them by the test of comprehensive experience. Let us take a hasty retrospect of the poetical literature of this Country for the greater part of the last two centuries, and see if the facts support these inferences.
Who is there that now reads the Creation of Dubartas? Yet all Europe once resounded with his praise; he was caressed by kings; and, when his Poem was translated into our language, the Faery Queen faded before it. The name of Spenser, whose genius is of a higher order than even that of Ariosto, is at this day scarcely known beyond the limits of the British Isles. A dramatic Author, if he write for the stage, must adapt himself to the taste of the audience, or they will not endure him; accordingly the mighty genius of Shakespeare was listened to.
The people were delighted: but I am not sufficiently versed in stage antiquities to determine whether they did not flock as eagerly to the representation of many pieces of contemporary Authors, wholly undeserving to appear upon the same boards. Had there been a formal contest for superiority among dramatic writers, that Shakespeare, like his predecessors Sophocles and Euripides, would have often been subject to the mortification of seeing the prize adjudged to sorry competitors, becomes too probable, when we reflect that the admirers of Settle and Shadwell were, in a later age, as numerous, and reckoned as respectable, in point of talent, as those of Dryden.
At all events, that Shakespeare stooped to accommodate himself to the People, is sufficiently apparent; and one of the most striking proofs of his almost omnipotent genius is, that he could turn to such glorious purpose those materials which the prepossessions of the age compelled him to make use of. Yet even this marvellous skill appears not to have been enough to prevent his rivals from having some advantage over him in public estimation; else how can we account for passages and scenes that exist in his works, unless upon a supposition that some of the grossest of them, a fact which in my own mind I have no doubt of, were foisted in by the Players, for the gratification of the many?
But that his Works, whatever might be their reception upon the stage, made but little impression upon the ruling Intellects of the time, may be inferred from the fact that Lord Bacon, in his multifarious writings, nowhere either quotes or alludes to him. Baron Grimm is the only French writer who seems to have perceived his infinite superiority to the first names of the French Theatre; an advantage which the Parisian Critic owed to his German blood and German education. The most enlightened Italians, though well acquainted with our language, are wholly incompetent to measure the proportions of Shakespeare.
The Germans only, of foreign nations, are approaching towards a knowledge and feeling of what he is. There is extant a small Volume of miscellaneous poems, in which Shakespeare expresses his own feelings in his own person. It is not difficult to conceive that the Editor, George Steevens, should have been insensible to the beauties of one portion of that Volume, the Sonnets; though in no part of the writings of this Poet is found, in an equal compass, a greater number of exquisite feelings felicitously expressed.
Nine years before the death of Shakespeare, Milton was born; and early in life he published several small poems, which, though on their first appearance they were praised by a few of the judicious, were afterwards neglected to that degree, that Pope in his youth could borrow from them without risk of its being known.
Whether these poems are at this day justly appreciated, I will not undertake to decide: nor would it imply a severe reflection upon the mass of readers to suppose the contrary; seeing that a man of the acknowledged genius of Voss, the German poet, could suffer their spirit to evaporate; and could change their character, as is done in the translation made by him of the most popular of these pieces. At all events, it is certain that these Poems of Milton are now much read, and loudly praised; yet were they little heard of till more than years after their publication; and of the Sonnets, Dr.
About the time when the Pindaric odes of Cowley and his imitators, and the productions of that class of curious thinkers whom Dr. Johnson has strangely styled metaphysical Poets, were beginning to lose something of that extravagant admiration which they had excited, the Paradise Lost made its appearance.
I have said elsewhere that he gained more than he asked; this I believe to be true; but Dr. Take, from the number of purchasers, persons of this class, and also those who wished to possess the Poem as a religious work, and but few I fear would be left who sought for it on account of its poetical merits.
Turning to my own shelves, I find the folio of Cowley, seventh edition, The Poems of Norris of Bemerton not long after went, I believe, through nine editions. The early editions of the Paradise Lost were printed in a shape which allowed them to be sold at a low price, yet only three thousand copies of the Work were sold in eleven years; and the Nation, says Dr. We are authorized, then, to affirm that the reception of the Paradise Lost, and the slow progress of its fame, are proofs as striking as can be desired that the positions which I am attempting to establish are not erroneous.
I have been honoured by being permitted to peruse in MS. It is the Work of an English Peer of high accomplishments, its object to form the character and direct the studies of his son. Perhaps nowhere does a more beautiful treatise of the kind exist. The good sense and wisdom of the thoughts, the delicacy of the feelings, and the charm of the style, are, throughout, equally conspicuous.
Writing about the same time, Shaftesbury, an author at present unjustly depreciated, describes the English Muses as only yet lisping in their cradles. The arts by which Pope, soon afterwards, contrived to procure to himself a more general and a higher reputation than perhaps any English Poet ever attained during his lifetime, are known to the judicious.
He bewitched the nation by his melody, and dazzled it by his polished style and was himself blinded by his own success. Having wandered from humanity in his Eclogues with boyish inexperience, the praise, which these compositions obtained, tempted him into a belief that Nature was not to be trusted, at least in pastoral Poetry. The instigator of the work, and his admirers, could perceive in them nothing but what was ridiculous. Have you sometimes seen the touching seriousness of a young girl, innocent, and yet deeply affected by her future motherhood, who cradles the work of her hands, animates it with her kisses, says to it from her heart: My daughter!
If you touch her work roughly, she becomes upset and screams. But this does not prevent her from knowing deep down who this being is that she animates, enables to talk and to reason, vivifies with her soul. It is precisely art at its moment of conception. Such is the essential condition of artistic creativity.
It is love, but also a smile. It is this loving smile that creates. Weak and sterile people who, even as they try to produce something, fill their wretched offspring with althoughs and nisis , these solemn idiots do not understand that no life emerges from a frigid environment; from their glacial nothingness will issue,,, nothingness. But in that case let it be with infinite tenderness, with tears and pity which still express love. In the intensely emotional moments when I incubated and reproduced the life of the Christian Church, I announced unequivocally the sentence of its impending death.
I was also filled with pity for it. Recreating it through art, I told the invalid what Hezekiah asked of God. Nothing more. Conclude that I am Catholic!
'Of Genius', in The Occasional Paper, and Preface to The Creation
What could be more inane! The believer does not say the Office of the Dead for a person in the throes of death whom he believes to be eternal. I was the first to have established France as a person. Less exclusive than Thierry, and subordinating the element of race, I strongly underlined the geographic principle of local influences, and along with that, the shared labor of the entire nation in creating, fabricating itself. In my blind enthusiasm for the Gothic I had caused the stone to give forth blood, and the Church to flower, to rise up like the flower of legend.
This pleased the public. It pleased me a good deal less. That work shone like a great flame. I found too much subtlety in it, too much wit, too much system. In preparing it I tried to extend myself, to become deeper, to be more human , simpler.
'Of Genius', in The Occasional Paper, and Preface to The Creation by Aaron Hill
A very difficult book which sets forth the symbols and the formulas—found in all the dialects and all the periods of that language—with which the various, so diverse Germanies have sanctified the great events of human life birth, marriage, and death, testaments, sales, tributes, etc. Some day I will describe the incredible passion with which I ventured to understand and translate this book.
A strange inner transformation took place; it seemed to me that up until then, harsh and subtle, I was old, and that little by little, under the influence of that young humanity, I too became young. Refreshed by those living springs, my heart became a flower garden, as if touched by the morning dew. The dawn! Sweet childhood! Good and natural nature! What vigor this created within me, after the witherings of my mystic subtlety!
How meager that Byzantine poetry now appeared to me, how sickly and barren, how emaciated! Yet I spared it still.
But how shabby it appeared to me in the presence of humanity! This humanity I possessed, held firm, embraced in the very rich detail of its boundless variety leafy as the forests of India, where each tree is a forest ; and, looking down from above, I saw its sweet, mild harmony in which nothing is stifled; I seized the divine element in its worshipful unity. But it is true an increase of kindness, and a heedlessness, an absolute ignorance of rivalries,—consequently a vast sympathy for mankind which I scarcely saw and for society, the world which I never frequented.
I was not the least bit affected by the malicious barbs of the Doctrinaires. I was no less indifferent to the ambushes of the Catholics. Everything I was collecting involuntarily, without any thought of them , those unquestionable, countless facts, those mountains of truths which, in my persistent work, rose, pushed higher each day, all that was against them. None of them could have imagined the solid, deep foundation that I found there, so that I had neither the need nor the idea of polemics.
My strength made my peace. It would have taken them ten thousand years to understand that what to them seemed weakness, the gentle, peaceful human sense, which was growing in me, was precisely my strength and what distanced me from them. I was perfectly aware that such surroundings, where everything was circumspect and decorous, would have civilized me too much.
I had but one single strength, my savage virginity of opinion, and the free manner of an art which was all my own and new. I would have had to adapt myself, become milder, better mannered than was suitable for me. From that period on the salons were very hostile toward me.
The Chronicles of Duguesclin , then unpublished, also helped me. The enormous repository in the Archives provided me with a multitude of records which confirmed these manuscripts, and which were relevant to many other topics. This was the first time history had so serious a foundation. Entering centuries rich in records and genuine documents, history came of age, acquired of the chronicles which it controlled, purified and judged.
Armed with unassailable documents unknown to these chronicles, history, as it were, held them on its kness like a little child to whose prattle it listens willingly, but whom it must often admonish and contradict. In the pleasant history in which Monsieur de Barante follows our story-tellers, Froissart, etc. But then in examining the records, the various documents, so dispersed at the time though collected today, we recognize that the chronicler failed to appreciate, was unmindful of the broad features of the age. This is already a financial and juridical century in feudal form.
It is often Pathelin masked as Arthur. The advent of gold, of the Jew, the weaving industry of Flanders, the dominant wool trade in England and Flanders—this is what allowed the English to prevail with regular troops, some of whom were hired and paid mercenaries. The economic revolution alone made the military revolution possible, which, through the punitive defeat of feudal knighthood, prepared, then brought about the political revolution.
The tournaments of Froissart, Monstrelet, and the Golden Fleece have little influence in all this. They are completely incidental. But independently of these specific instruments, acts and documents, immeasurable assistance arrives from everywhere. There hardly existed anything other than political history, government decrees and records, to a slight extent those of institutions. No one took into account that which accompanies, explains, and in part establishes that political history—social, economic, industrial conditions, those of literature and of ideas.
It is not without weaknesses. It is harsh, excessively so, toward the legists, toward the courageous men who slapped the face of the idol with the Albigensian hand of the valiant Nogaret. However, this volume is new and strong in deriving history principally from the economic Revolution , from the advent of gold, of the Jew and of Satan the king of hidden treasures. It vigorously presents the very mercantile character of the times. A great social revolution. Nothing has been cured. Aggravated, on the contrary, evil arrives at its culminating frenzy, the raging madness of Charles VI.
If that was ever realized, it happened in volume four Charles VI. Perhaps, in fact, that is saying too much. This volume was created in a spurt of agony, in an ecstasy of that soul of yore, savage, sensual, and violent, cruel and tender, raging. It whirls with astonishing speed, a horrible rout. And we are breathless. No stopping, no distraction. Everywhere there is an emotional and deep basso continuo; beneath it all, there sounds a mysterious rolling, a muted thunder of the heart. It is seen in a frightful seed sprouting around , sublime, charming, touching, and which flourishes in third and fifth volumes.
But what about the countryside?
Who knows about it before the fourteenth century? That vast world of shadows, those countless, ignored masses, break through one morning. In the third volume mostly erudition , I was not on guard, expecting nothing, when the shape of Jacques , rising up on a furrow, blocked my path; a monstrous and frightful shape. I felt a convulsive contraction in my heart Great God! Is this my father? The man of the Middle Ages? Behold a thousand years of sorrows It was he, it was I same soul and same person who had endured all this From these thousand years, a tear came to me, burning, as heavy as a world, which pierced the page.
No one friend, enemy passed through them without weeping. With this my pain increased. Beneath this frightening mask was a human soul. Deep, cruel mystery. It cannot be understood without going back a little. The free associations of fraternities and free towns were for the most part moved by this spirit. Such was, in , in the time of the Albigensians, the religion both of the free towns and of the knights of southern France, a religion in a new spirit that the Church drowned in torrents of blood.
And so the Spirit, frail dove, seems to perish, to disappear. From that moment on it becomes airborne, and will be breathed in everywhere. If one hears its inward voices in the convents, how much more so in the forests, in the free boundless Church! There the world is changed.
Everyone has hesitated at the Joan of Arc story, seeing through their tears the flames of the pyre. While I was assuredly moved, I still saw clearly, and I noticed two things:. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, in their excessive miseries, in their horrible extremities, the heart grows larger. The crowd is a hero. There were in those times many Joans of Arc, at least as regards courage. From the time the English lost their mainstay, the Duke of Burgundy, they became quite weak.
On the contrary, the French, rallying their armed forces of the South, became extremely strong. But this produced no harmony. The charming personality of this young peasant girl, with her tender, emotional, and joyous heart heroic gaiety burst forth in all her answers , became a center and she united everything. She acted effectively because she had no art, no magic, no enchantments, no miracles. All her power is humanity. She has no wings, this poor angel; she is the common people, she is weak, she is us, she is everyone.
The distant sufferings of so many souls, stifled in those ancient times, would moan softly. Are you another Walter Scott, recounting picturesque details at great length, the sumptuous meals of Philip the Good, the empty Oath of the Pheasant? Do you know that our martyrs have been expecting you for four hundred years? Do you know that the valiant men of Courtray, of Rosebecque, do not have the monument which history owed them?
The salaried chroniclers, Froissart the chaplain, Monstrelet the chatterbox, do not suffice. It was with firm faith, with the hope of justice that they gave their lives. Settle with us! Your creditors are summoning you! We accepted death for one line from you! To tell the story of their battles, to enter their ranks, to go halves with them in victory or defeat? That was not enough. For my ten years of strenuous perseverance when I reproduced the struggle of the Northern Towns, I undertook much more. I redid everything from top to bottom so as to restore their life to them, their arts, especially their rights.
These cities produced and created. Their masters have destroyed. How pallid that world, so lively then, is today! While Olivier de la Marche and Chastellain were lolling about at the meals of the Golden Fleece, I probed the wine cellars where Flanders was fermenting, with her masses of valiant workers and mystics.
I devoutly restored everything, their powerful Friendships as they called their communes , their Candid Truths the name of their meetings , without neglecting their bells, and their brotherly chimes. I put the dreaded Roelandt back into his tower, my great bronze friend whose solemn voice, ringing out for ten leagues, made John the Fearless and Charles the Bold quake. Therein lies, however, the true reality, the charm of this so diversified country. I clung to that task; it was a religion for me to reconstruct the soul of each of those old and cherished cities, and that could be done only by showing clearly how each trade and each way of life created a race of workers.
I set Ghent aside, that deep hive of battles, with its brave and devout weavers. I also set Bruges aside, so great and so appealing, with the seventeen nations of its merchants and the three hundred painters who made an Italy in one city. And Ypres, the Pompeii of Flanders, today deserted, which preserves its true monument, the prodigious market place of all trades, this cathedral of labor where every good worker should remove his hat.
The New Approach to Freedom
Those poor French nations, lost in the Ardennes, between hostile peoples and competing languages, moved me greatly. I discovered, I exhumed from the ashes of Dinant its lost arts, so dear to the Middle Ages—humble and deeply touching arts that were the loyal servants, the household friends of all Europe. Their narratives are heroically cheerful songs. It is a pleasure to see this frightful swelling bombast punctured, suddenly flattened.
One undeniably favors Louis XI in his tricky struggle against barbaric pride, feudal brutality. He is a fox who nets the fake lion.
Related Of Genius, in The Occasional Paper, and Preface to The Creation
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