Walter Pater Quotes
43 Sourced Quotes
Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself, is the end. 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? 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. To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.
Poetry, at all times, exercises two distinct functions: it may reveal, it may unveil to every eye, the ideal aspects of common thingsor it may actually add to the number of motives poetic and uncommon in themselves, by the imaginative creation of things that are ideal from their very birth.
For us necessity is not as of old an image without us, with whom we can do warfare; it is a magic web woven through and through us, like that magnetic system of which modern science speaks, penetrating us with a network subtler than our subtlest nerves, yet bearing in it the central forces of the world.
Beauty, like all other qualities presented to human experience, is relative; and the definition of it becomes unmeaning and useless in proportion to its abstractness. To define beauty not in the most abstract, but in the most concrete terms possible, not to find a universal formula for it, but the formula which expresses most adequately this or that special manifestation of it, is the aim of the true student of aesthetics.
Has nature connected itself together by no bond, allowed itself to be thus crippled, and split into the divine and human elements? Well! there are certain divine powers of a middle nature, through whom our aspirations are conveyed to the gods, and theirs to us. A celestial ladder, a ladder from heaven to earth.