Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights V


c) Every aesthetic production proceeds from an intrinsically infinite separation
of the two activities, which in every free act of producing are divided. But now
since these two activities are to be depicted in the product as united, what this 
latter presents is an infinite finitely displayed. But the infinite finitely displayed 
is beauty. The basic feature of every work of art, in which both the proceeding 
are comprehended, is therefore beauty, and without beauty there is no work
of art. There are, admittedly, sublime works of art, and beauty and sublimity
in a certain respect are opposed to each other, in that a landscape, for example,
can be beautiful without therefore being sublime, and vice versa. However,
the opposition between beauty and sublimity is one which occurs only in regard
to the object, not in regard to the subject of intuition. For the difference between 
the beautiful and the sublime work of art consists simply in this, that where beauty
is present, the infinite contradiction is eliminated in the object itself; whereas when
sublimity is present, the conflict is not reconciled in the object itself, but merely
uplifted to a point at which it is involuntarily eliminated in the intuition, and this,
then, is much as if it were to be eliminated in the object.