Sunday, 25 July 2010

Still Life with Potatoes

Some descriptions are too accurate.

Bell combined considerable sensitivity with the attitudes of the country squire…. (J.B. Bullen in the introduction to Art)

Your hear rather a lot of the country squire in Art:

Nietzsche’s preposterous nonsense knocked the bottom out of nonsense more preposterous and far more vile. (Bell is writing about the new spirit or new emotion that has created modern art, or more particularly Cézanne, his new Jesus Christ.)

Difficult to know exactly what Bell is referring to, but only a few pages later he comes up with some nonsense of his own:

There are moments in life that are ends to which the whole history of humanity would not be an extravagant means; of such are the moments of aesthetic ecstasy.

Nietzsche’s sophisticated and refined insights, albeit possibly misguided (so much rests on interpretation), about making our lives into works of art, is here turned into a vaudeville show.

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