“To burn always with this hard, gemlike
flame, to maintain this ecstasy is success in life. In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes any two persons, things, situations seem alike. While all melts under our feet, we may well grasp at any exquisite passion, or any contribution to knowledge
that seems by a lifted horizon to set the spirit free for a moment, or any stirring of the senses, strange dyes, strange colours, and curious odours, or work of the artist’s hands, or the face of one’s friend. Not to discriminate at every moment some passionate attitude in those about us, and in the very brilliancy of their gifts some tragic dividing of forces on their ways is, on
this short day of frost and sun, to sleep before evening.
Walter Pater 1839-1894
Supremacy of art in expressing and preserving experiences
- Marius the Epicurean 1885: Historical novel about a Roman man who is fascinated by
- early Christians. Expresses importance of ritual in life and the “religion of art”.
- Influential to the many poets, dramatists, and novelists of the Late 19th and