Walter Pater Quotes


All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.

Many attempts have been made by writers on art and poetry to define beauty in the abstract to express it in the most general terms to find some universal formula for it.

That sense of a life in natural objects which in most poetry is but a rhetorical artifice was then in Wordsworth the assertion of what was for him almost literal fact.

At first sight experience seems to bury us under a flood of external objects pressing upon us with a sharp and importunate reality calling us out of ourselves in a thousand forms of action.

The Renaissance of the fifteenth century was in many things great rather by what it designed then by what it achieved.

Books are a refuge a sort of cloistral refuge from the vulgarities of the actual world.

And the fifteenth century was an impassioned age so ardent and serious in its pursuit of art that it consecrated everything with which art had to ad as a religious object.

A certain strangeness something of the blossoming of the aloe is indeed an element in all true works of art: that they shall excite or surprise us is indispensable.

To burn always with this hard gem-like flame to maintain this ecstasy is success in life.

Great passions may give us a quickened sense of life ecstasy and sorrow of love the various forms of enthusiastic activity disinterested or otherwise which comes naturally to many of us.

Through the survival of their children happy parents are able to think calmly and with a very practical affection of a world in which they are to have no direct share.

To know when one's self is interested is the first condition of interesting other people.

To the modern spirit nothing is or can be rightly known except relatively and under conditions.

All art does but consist in the removal of surplusage.

A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a variegated dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is to to be seen in them by the finest senses?

What we have to do is to be forever curiously testing new opinions and courting new impressions.

He...preferred always the more to the less remote what seeming exceptional was an instance of law more refined...

The service of philosophy of speculative culture towards the human spirit is to rouse to startle it to a life of constant and eager observation.

It is always hazardous to express what one has to say indirectly and allusively.

The various forms of intellectual activity which together make up the culture of an age move for the most part from different starting-points and by unconnected roads.

How shall we pass most swiftly from point to point and be present always at the focus where the greatest number of vital forces unite in their purest energy?

For art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass and simply for those moments' sake.

Art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass.

Not the fruit of experience but experience itself is the end.

To regard all things and principles of things as inconstant modes or fashions has more and more become the tendency of modern thought.

Philosophical theories or ideas as points of view instruments of criticism may help us to gather up what might otherwise pass unregarded by us.

Every intellectual product must be judged from the point of view of the age and the people in which it was produced.

Why do you always write poetry? Why do you not write prose? Prose is so much more difficult.

The way to perfection is through a series of disgusts