Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights-sculpture VII

... The first are afraid of invalidating Beauty dynamically- that is, as
an operative power- by separating what is yet combined in the feeling;
the others are afraid of invalidating Beauty logically- that is, as a concept-
by bringing together what is yet separate in the understanding. The 
former want to think of Beauty as it operates; the latter want to have it
operate as thought. Both must therefore miss the truth, the former 
because they seek to rival infinite Nature with their limited intellectual
capacity, the latter because they are trying to restrict infinite Nature to 
their own intellectual laws. The first are afraid of robbing Beauty of its
freedom by analysing it too closely; the others are afraid of destroying 
the definiteness of its conception by combining it too boldly. But 
the former do not reflect that the freedom in which they quite rightly 
place the essence of Beauty is not lawlessness but harmony of laws,
not arbitrariness but the utmost inner necessity; the latter do not reflect
that the definiteness which they equally rightly demand of Beauty
consists not in the exclusion of certain realities but in the absolute 
inclusion of them all, so that it is therefore not restriction but infinity. 
We shall avoid the rocks upon which they both of them founder if we 
start from the two elements into which Beauty is divided for the intellect, 
and then later ascend to the pure aesthetic unity through which she 
works upon the perceptions, and in which both those conditions 
completely disappear.

Eighteenth Letter
On the Aesthetic Education of Man
Friedrich Schiller
(Translated by Reginald Snell)

Sculpture in progress