O.Wilde, Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. (...)
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. (...)

No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. (...)
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.
When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself...

O. Wilde (1854-1900),
Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare

Henry Fuseli
(Johann Heinrich Füssli)

(1741 – 1825)

and writer on art,

of Swiss origin.

The nightmare

W. Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey

J.M.W. Turner (1775-1850)

 William Wordsworth

(1770 - 1850)

English Romantic poet
1st generation

Tintern Abbey

Benjamin Williams (1831-1923)

Samuel Colman (1839-1920)

Tintern Abbey is located in the valley of the river Wye, in Wales. It was founded in 1131 by some Cistercian monks and then it was destroyed at the beginning of 1500. William Wordsworth visited its ruins in 1793, when he was 23, and returned there five years later.
Tintern Abbey’, written in blank verse, gives the most complete definition of William Wordsworth’s concept of Nature. Dealing with the different phases of his life, it is his first major explicitly autobiographical work and in it we can find the best expression of his thought. The poem begins with an evocation of the past and all the elements of the scene are beautifully and harmoniously blended.

Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey
on Revisiting the Banks of Wye During a Tour.
July 13, 1798”.

FIVE years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs

With a soft inland murmur - Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.

... ... ... ...  I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye. — That time is past

Italian translation :

Cinque anni sono passati; cinque estati, con la lunghezza
Di cinque inverni lunghi! e di nuovo sento
Queste acque, scorrere da sorgenti montane
Con un dolce mormorio dell'entroterra. --ancora una volta
Guardo queste rupi ripide ed elevate,
Che a una scena selvaggia e appartata imprimono
Pensieri di isolamento più profondo; e congiungono
Il panorama con la quiete del cielo.
Il giorno è venuto quando io di nuovo riposo
Qui, sotto questo scuro acero, e rivedo

Queste trame di appezzamenti di terra, questi ciuffi di alberi da frutto,
Quali in questa stagione, con i loro frutti acerbi,
Sono rivestiti di unico colore verde, e si perdono
'Tra boschetti e sottoboschi. Ancora una volta vedo
Queste siepi, a malapena filari, piccole linee
Giocoso bosco inselvatichito: queste fattorie pastorali,
Verdi fino alla; e anelli di fumo
Spedito su, in silenzio, fra gli alberi!
Segno incerto, come potrebbe sembrare
Di abitanti vagabondi nei boschi,

O della grotta di qualche eremita, dove accanto al suo fuoco
L'Eremita siede solo.

............ .--non posso descrivere
Quello che allora ero. La cascata risuonante
Mi assillava come una passione: l'alta roccia,
La montagna, ed il bosco profondo ed oscuro,
Loro colori ed i loro moduli, erano allora a me
Un appetito; un sentimento ed un amore,

Quello non aveva bisogno di un fascino remoto,
Ma provvisto, nè alcuno interessa
Che non fosse prestato dall'occhio.--Quel tempo è passato,


Wordsworth's Notes
No poems of mine was composed under circumstances more pleasant for me to remember than this. I began it upon leaving Tintern, after crossing the Wye, and concluded it just as I was entering Bristol in the evening, after a ramble of four or five days, with my sister. Not a line was altered, and not any part of it written down until I reached Bristol. (It was published almost immediately after in... 'The Lyrical Ballads', as first published at Bristol by Cottle).