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Thoughts on Art and Life

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Published: 1906
Language: English
Wordcount: 47,033 / 142 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 58.1
LoC Category: PQ
Downloads: 2,505
Added to site: 2009.09.04 25193
Genre: Non-fiction

Edited by Lewis Einstein, translation by Maurice Baring.

Show Excerpt

ge into mere vapouring. Although attempting to bridge the gulf which separated the real from the unreal, he refused to treat the latter supernaturally. That mystery which lesser minds found in the occult, he saw in nature all about him. He denied the existence of spirits, just as he urged the foolishness of the will-o'-the-wisps of former ages,--alchemy and the black art. In one sentence he destroyed the pretensions of palmistry. "You will see," he wrote, "great armies slaughtered in an hour's time, where in each individual the signs of the hands are different."

His art took, thus, its guidance in realism, its purpose in spirituality. The search for truth and the desire for beauty were the twin ideals he strove to attain. The keenness of this pursuit saved him from the blemish of egoism which aloofness from his surroundings would otherwise have forced upon him. For his character presented the anomaly, peculiar to the Renaissance, of a lofty idealism coupled in action with {xxi} irresponsibility of duty



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