„The sole substitute for an experience we have not ourselves lived through is art and literature.“

Last update April 8, 2021. History
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn photo
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn119
Russian writer 1918 - 2008

Related quotes

Keith Haring photo

„The only way art lives is through the experience of the observer. The reality of art begins with the eyes of the beholder, through imagination, invention and confrontation.“

—  Keith Haring American artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s by expressing… 1958 - 1990

Haring – Art in Transit http://www.haring.com/!/selected_writing/haring-art-in-transit#.V1cw0tIrKyw The Keith Haring Foundation

Oscar Wilde photo
Gerhard Richter photo

„In proportion as a community comes to substitute a qualitative for a quantitative standard of living, it escapes the limitations imposed by matter upon man. Art knows no restrictions of space or size, and in proportion as we attain the art of living we shall be likewise free.“

—  J.A. Hobson English economist, social scientist and critic of imperialism 1858 - 1940

The Evolution of Modern Capitalism: A Study of Machine Production (1906), Ch. XVII Civilisation and Industrial Development
Context: The case is a simple one. A mere increase in the variety of our material consumption relieves the strain imposed upon man by the limits of the material universe, for such variety enables him to utilise a larger proportion of the aggregate of matter. But in proportion as we add to mere variety a higher appreciation of those adaptations of matter which are due to human skill, and which we call Art, we pass outside the limits of matter and are no longer the slaves of roods and acres and a law of diminishing returns. So long as we continue to raise more men who demand more food and clothes and fuel, we are subject to the limitations of the material universe, and what we get ever costs us more and benefits us less. But when we cease to demand more, and begin to demand better, commodities, more delicate, highly finished and harmonious, we can increase the enjoyment without adding to the cost or exhausting the store. What artist would not laugh at the suggestion that the materials of his art, his colours, clay, marble, or what else he wrought in, might fail and his art come to an end? When we are dealing with qualitative, i. e. artistic, goods, we see at once how an infinite expenditure of labour may be given, an infinite satisfaction taken, from the meagrest quantity of matter and space. In proportion as a community comes to substitute a qualitative for a quantitative standard of living, it escapes the limitations imposed by matter upon man. Art knows no restrictions of space or size, and in proportion as we attain the art of living we shall be likewise free. <!--section 16, p. 431

„It is above all through landscape that music joins Romantic art and literature.“

—  Charles Rosen American pianist and writer on music 1927 - 2012

Source: The Romantic Generation (1995), Ch. 3 : Mountains and Song Cycles

William Dean Howells photo

„Clemens was sole, incomparable, the Lincoln of our literature.“

—  William Dean Howells author, critic and playwright from the United States 1837 - 1920

My Mark Twain http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3390/3390.txt (1910)

T.S. Eliot photo
Edward Hopper photo

„I am interested primarily in the vast field of experience and sensation which neither literature nor a purely plastic art deals with.“

—  Edward Hopper prominent American realist painter and printmaker 1882 - 1967

Letter to Charles Sawyer of Addison Gallery of Art October 19 , 1939
1911 - 1940

Ralph Ellison photo

„We cannot live, as someone has said, in the contemplation of chaos, but neither can we live without an awareness of chaos, and the means through which we achieve that awareness, and through which we assert our humanity most significantly against it, is in great art. In our time the most articulate art form for defining ourselves and for asserting our humanity is the novel. Certainly it is our most rational art form for dealing with the irrational.“

—  Ralph Ellison American novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer 1914 - 1994

"Society, Morality and the Novel" (1957), in The Collected Essays, ed. John F. Callahan (New York: Modern Library, 1995), pp. 699-700.
Context: Perhaps the novel evolved in order to deal with man's growing awareness that behind the facade of social organisations, manners, customs, myths, rituals and religions of the post-Christian era lies chaos. Man knows, despite the certainties which it is the psychological function of his social institutions to give him, that he did not create the universe, and that the universe is not at all concerned with human values. Man knows that even in this day of marvelous technology and the tenuous subjugation of the atom, that nature can crush him, and that at the boundaries of human order the arts and the instruments of technology are hardly more than magic objects which serve to aid us in our ceaseless quest for certainty. We cannot live, as someone has said, in the contemplation of chaos, but neither can we live without an awareness of chaos, and the means through which we achieve that awareness, and through which we assert our humanity most significantly against it, is in great art. In our time the most articulate art form for defining ourselves and for asserting our humanity is the novel. Certainly it is our most rational art form for dealing with the irrational.

Rollo May photo

„Art is a substitute for violence.“

—  Rollo May US psychiatrist 1909 - 1994

Source: Power and Innocence (1972), Ch. 11 : The Humanity of the Rebel
Context: Art is a substitute for violence. The same impulses that drive persons to violence — the hunger for meaning, the need for ecstasy, the impulse to risk all — drive the artist to create. He is by nature our archrebel. … the essence of the rebellion is in the new way of seeing nature and life.

Hans Arp photo

„I like nature but not its substitutes. Naturalist art, illusionism, is a substitute for nature.“

—  Hans Arp Alsatian, sculptor, painter, poet and abstract artist 1886 - 1966

Source: 1960s, Jours effeuillés: Poèmes, essaies, souvenirs (1966), p. 359
Context: I like nature but not its substitutes. Naturalist art, illusionism, is a substitute for nature. I remember that in arguing with Piet Mondrian [in Paris, 1920's], he opposed art to nature saying that art is artificial and nature is natural. I do not share this opinion. I do not think that nature is in natural opposition to art. Art's origins are natural.

Viggo Mortensen photo
Percy Bysshe Shelley photo
Immanuel Kant photo

„To a high degree we are, through art and science, cultured. We are civilized — perhaps too much for our own good — in all sorts of social grace and decorum. But to consider ourselves as having reached morality“

—  Immanuel Kant German philosopher 1724 - 1804

for that, much is lacking. The ideal of morality belongs to culture; its use for some simulacrum of morality in the love of honor and outward decorum constitutes mere civilization. So long as states waste their forces in vain and violent self-expansion, and thereby constantly thwart the slow efforts to improve the minds of their citizens by even withdrawing all support from them, nothing in the way of a moral order is to be expected. For such an end, a long internal working of each political body toward the education of its citizens is required. Everything good that is not based on a morally good disposition, however, is nothing but pretense and glittering misery. In such a condition the human species will no doubt remain until, in the way I have described, it works its way out of the chaotic conditions of its international relations.
Seventh Thesis
Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View (1784)

Roger Scruton photo
Atal Bihari Vajpayee photo
Lu Xun photo
Benjamin Disraeli photo

„You know who critics are?— the men who have failed in literature and art.“

—  Benjamin Disraeli British Conservative politician, writer, aristocrat and Prime Minister 1804 - 1881

Source: Books, Coningsby (1844), Lothair (1870), Ch. 35. Compare: "Reviewers are usually people who would have been poets, historians, biographers, if they could; they have tried their talents at one or the other, and have failed; therefore they turn critics", Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, p. 36. Delivered 1811–1812; "Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic", Percy Bysshe Shelley, Fragments of Adonais.

Related topics