Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Written in 1999

"It sometimes seems that a special problem arises for beauty once the realm of the sacred is no longer believed in or aspired to. If a beautiful young girl (like Nausicaa), or a small bird, or a glass vase, or a poem, or a tree has the metaphysical in behind it, that realm verifies the weight and attention we confer on the girl, bird, vase, poem, tree. But if the metaphysical realm has vanished, one may feel bereft not only because of the giant deficit left by that vacant realm but because the girl, the bird, the vase, the book now seem unable in their solitude to justify or account for the weight of their own beauty. If each calls out for attention that has no destination beyond itself, each seems self-centered, too fragile to support the gravity of our immense regard....
...But beautiful things, as Matisse shows, always carry greetings from other worlds within them." --
Elaine Scarry, in her wonderful little book called
On Beauty and Being Just

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. That was beautiful. I live for greetings from other worlds.