"You should go to picture-galleries and museums of sculpture to be acted upon, and not to express or try to form your own perfectlyfutile opinion. It makes no difference to you or the world what you may think of any work of art. That is not the question; the point is how it affects you. The picture is the judge of your capacity, not you of its excellence; the world has long ago passed its judgment upon it, and now it is for the work to estimate you."
"The theater-goer in conventional dramatic theater says: Yes, I've felt that way, too. That's the way I am. That's life. That's theway it will always be. The suffering of this or that person grips me because there is no escape for him. That's great art--Everything is self- evident. I am made to cry with those who cry, and laugh with those who laugh. But the theater-goer in the epic theater says: I would never have thought that. You can't do that. That's very strange, practically unbelievable. That has to stop. The suffering of this or that person grips me because there is an escape for him. That's great art--nothing is self-evident. I am made to laugh about those who cry, and cry about those who laugh."
"Art and science coincide insofar as both aim to improve the lives of men and women. The latter normally concerns itself with profit, the former with pleasure. In the coming age, art will fashion our entertainment out of new means of productivity in ways that will simultaneously enhance our profit and maximize our pleasure."
"It is not enough to demand insight and informative images of reality from the theater. Our theater must stimulate a desire for understanding, a delight in changing reality. Our audience must experience not only the ways to free Prometheus, but be schooled in the very desire to free him. Theater must teach all the pleasures and joys of discovery, all the feelings of triumph associated with liberation."
"The alienation effect in German epic theater is achieved not only through the actors, but also through music (chorus and song) andsets (transparencies, film strips, etc.). Its main purpose is to place the staged events in their historical context."
"The work of art, just like any fragment of human life considered in its deepest meaning, seems to me devoid of value if it does not offer the hardness, the rigidity, the regularity, the luster on every interior and exterior facet, of the crystal."
"A more problematic example is the parallel between the increasingly abstract and insubstantial picture of the physical universe which modern physics has given us and the popularity of abstract and non-representational forms of art and poetry. In each case the representation of reality is increasingly removed from the picture which is immediately presented to us by our senses."
"A person taking stock in middle age is like an artist or composer looking at an unfinished work; but whereas the composer and thepainter can erase some of their past efforts, we cannot. We are stuck with what we have lived through. The trick is to finish it with a sense of design and a flourish rather than to patch up the holes or merely to add new patches to it."
"Science is a capital or fund perpetually reinvested; it accumulates, rolls up, is carried forward by every new man. Every man of science has all the science before him to go upon, to set himself up in business with. What an enormous sum Darwin availed himself of and reinvested! Not so in literature; to every poet, to every artist, it is still the first day of creation, so far as the essentials of his task are concerned. Literature is not so much a fund to be reinvested as it is a crop to be ever new-grown."
"It is impossible to give a clear account of the world, but art can teach us to reproduce it--just as the world reproduces itself in the course of its eternal gyrations. The primordial sea indefatigably repeats the same words and casts up the same astonished beings on the same sea-shore."
"But [Jonas] quickly understood that a disciple was not necessarily someone who wishes to learn something. More often, on the contrary, one became a disciple for the unselfish pleasure of teaching one's master."
"[Many artists], even the greatest ones, are not sure of their own existence. So they search for proof, they judge, they condemn. It strengthens them, it is the beginnings of existence. They are alone!"
"As the twentieth century ends, commerce and culture are coming closer together. The distinction between life and art has been eroded by fifty years of enhanced communications, ever-improving reproduction technologies and increasing wealth."