All one wants to do is make a small, finished, polished, burnished, beautiful object . . . I mean, that's all one wants to do. One has nothing to say about the world, or society, or morals or politics or anything else. One just wants to get the damn thing done, you know? Kafka had it right when he said that the artist is the man who has nothing to say. It's true. You get the thing done, but you don't actually have anything to communicate, apart from the object itself.
Beauty is, in some way, boring. Even if its concept changes through the ages... a beautiful object must always follow certain rules. A beautiful nose shouldn't be longer than that or shorter than that, on the contrary, an ugly nose can be as long as the one of Pinocchio, or as big as the trunk of an elephant, or like the beak of an eagle, and so ugliness is unpredictable, and offers an infinite range of possibility. Beauty is finite, ugliness is infinite like God.
The cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful. Before we can adorn our houses with beautiful objects the walls must bestripped, and our lives must be stripped, and beautiful housekeeping and beautiful living laid for a foundation.
The strongest affection and utmost zeal should, I think, promote the studies concerned with the most beautiful objects. This is the discipline that deals with the universe's divine revolutions, the stars' motions, sizes, distances, risings and settings . . . for what is more beautiful than heaven?
The singular point of beautiful objects, and people, is that they are experienced not as parts, or ratios between cheekbones and chin, but as wholes. The experience of beauty is a perception, but it is one that mixes up various other sensations and makes them converge in a particular way.
It was a very proper answer to him who asked why any map should be delighted with beauty, that it was a question that none but a blind man could ask; since any beautiful object doth so much attract the sight of all men, that it is in no man's power not to be pleased with it.