I’m grateful for being here, for being able to think, for being able to see, for being able to taste, for appreciating love – for knowing that it exists in a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, and yet love exists. I’m grateful to know that it exists.
The most beautiful conception of immortality of which I know, and certainly one that by contrast shows the utter vulgarity of Christian ideas, is set forth in Pindar's second Olympian: after three or six lives in which a man has lived with strict justice and perfect integrity, he passes beyond the tower of Cronus to the fair realm that cannot be reached by land or sea, where gentle breezes from a placid ocean blow forever on the fields of asphodel. For a description, see Pindar. If the beauty of great poetry can commend a religion, here you have it.
Whenever a man is known to seek promotion by intrigue, by temporizing, or by resorting to the haunts of vulgarity and vice for support, it may be inferred, with moral certainty, that he is not a man of real respectability, nor is he entitled to public confidence.
The reproach that superficial people formulate against Manet, that whereas once he painted ugliness, now he paints vulgarity, falls harmlessly to the ground, when we recognize the fact that he paints the truth.
The best everyday example of relativity, the finest symptom of human intelligence, is humor. (...) Design without humor is not human. The word 'beautiful' does not mean anything. Only coherence counts. An object, design or not, is primarily an object that meets the parameters of human intelligence, which reconciles opposites. The lack of humor is the definition of vulgarity.
In the first manifesto that we launched on the 8th of March, 1910, from the stage of the Chiarella Theater in Turin,1 we expressed our deep-rooted disgust with, our proud contempt for, and our happy rebellion against vulgarity, mediocrity, the fanatical and snobbish worship of all that is old, attitudes which are suffocating Art in our Country.
Keats, it must be remembered, was a sensualist. His poems ... reveal him as a man not altogether free from the vulgarities of sensualism, as well as one who was able to transmute it into perfect literature.