These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking.... Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of his mind.
For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in the throng, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be at the very center of the world, and yet to be unseen of the world, such are some of the minor pleasures of those independent, intense and impartial spirits, who do not lend themselves easily to linguistic definitions. The observer is a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he... Read more »
Good sense tells us that earthly things are rare and fleeting, and that true reality exists only in dreams. To draw sustenance from happiness- natural or artificial - you must first have the courage to swallow it; and those who perhaps most merit happiness are precisely those on whom felicity, as mortals conceive it, always acts as a vomitive.
In the domain of painting and statuary, the present-day credo of the worldly wise, especially in France, is this: ... I believe that art is, and can only be, the exact reproduction of nature... An avenging God has heard the prayers of this multitude; Daguerre was his messiah.
Quand me" me Dieu n'existerait pas, la religion serait encore sainte et divineDieu est le seul e" tre qui, pour re gner, n'ait me" me pas besoin d'exister. Even if God did not exist, religion would still be holyand divine.God isthe only being who, inorder toreign, need not even exist.
Relate comic things in pompous fashion. Irregularity, in other words the unexpected, the surprising, the astonishing, are essential to and characteristic of beauty. Two fundamental literary qualities: supernaturalism and irony. The blend of the grotesque and the tragic are attractive to the mind, as is discord to blasé ears. Imagine a canvas for a lyrical, magical farce, for a pantomime, and translate it into a serious novel. Drown the whole thing in an abnormal, dreamy atmosphere, in the atmosphere of great days … the region of pure poetry.
There exist certain individuals who are, by nature, given purely to contemplation and are utterly unsuited to action, and who, nevertheless, under a mysterious and unknown impulse, sometimes act with a speed which they themselves would have thought beyond them.
You have to be always drunk. That's all there is to it-it's the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk. But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.
Alas, human vices, however horrible one might imagine them to be, contain the proof (were it only in their infinite expansion) of man's longing for the infinite; but it is a longing that often takes the wrong route. It is my belief that the reason behind all culpable excesses lies in this depravation of the sense of the infinite.
My concern today is with the painting of manners of the present. The past is interesting not only by reason of the beauty which could be distilled from it by those artists for whom it was the present, but also precisely because it is the past, for its historical value. It is the same with the present. The pleasure which we derive from the representation of the present is due not only to the beauty with which it can be invested, but also to its essential quality of being present