Monday, August 09, 2010

Ruskin's wit

On the existence of beauty...
"The world does indeed succeed - oftener than is perhaps altogether well for the world - in making Yes mean No, and No mean Yes. But the world has never succeeded, nor ever will, in making itself delight in black clouds more than in blue sky, or love the dark earth better than the rose that grows in it."

On the laws of rational thought...
"Next to imagination, the power of perceiving logical relation is one of the rarest among men; certainly of those with whom I have conversed, I have found always ten who had deep feeling, quick wit, or extended knowledge for one who could set down a syllogism without a flaw. And for ten who could set down a syllogism, only one who could entirely understand that a square has four sides."

Asking what makes "great art"...
"To follow art for the sake of being a great man, and therefore to cast about continually for some means of achieving position or attracting admiration, is the surest way of ending in total extinction."


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