"I had, as I told you, a great passion while still almost a child. When it was over, I divided myself in two, placing on one side the soul I kept for Art, and on the other, my body, which would have to fend for itself."
"Art for art's sake? I should think so, and more so than ever at the present time. It is the one orderly product which our middlingrace has produced. It is the cry of a thousand sentinels, the echo from a thousand labyrinths, it is the lighthouse which cannot be hidden ... it is the best evidence we can have of our dignity."
"One thing that makes art different from life is that in art things have a shape ... it allows us to fix our emotions on events atthe moment they occur, it permits a union of heart and mind and tongue and tear."
"To play is nothing but the imitative substitution of a pleasurable, superfluous and voluntary action for a serious, necessary, imperative and difficult one. At the cradle of play as well as of artistic activity there stood leisure, tedium entailed by increased spiritual mobility, a horror vacui, the need of letting forms no longer imprisoned move freely, of filling empty time with sequences of notes, empty space with sequences of form."
"Perhaps, the highest pleasure in art is identical with the highest pleasure in scientific theory. The emotion which accompanies the clear recognition of unity in a complex seems so similar in art and in science that it is difficult not to suppose that they are psychologically the same. It is, as it were, the final stage of both processes. This unity-emotion in science supervenes upon a process of pure mechanical reasoning; in art it supervenes upon a process of which emotion has all along been an essential concomitant."
"Baudelaire compared the great names in art to lighthouses posted along the track of historic time. The simile, as he used it, seizes the imagination and represents a great truth, but it allows of an interpretation which the limits of a sonnet form forbade him to develop. He takes the lights of his beacons as much for granted as the sailor does the lights of real lighthouses. But the lighthouses of art do not burn with so fixed and unvarying a lustre. The light they give is always changing insensibly with each generation, now brighter, now dimmer, and often enough growing bright once more. But we sometimes forget that the lights have to be tended or they grow faint and may expire altogether. For them to burn brightly, they must be fed by the devotion of some few spirits in each generation. If that fails for a long period they go out and become one of those dead, ineffectual names which still linger on, obstructions rather than aids to the historical voyager."