Friday, September 19, 2014

retro-quotes # 13851 + #13852 + #13853

retro-quotes: a series of germane remarks, by others, plucked from all over the place, and from all over the time # 13851  + #13852 + 13853

 “In wishing to preserve what had been valued, classical societies in time found themselves valuing what had been preserved....  Value itself became the exclusive province of the past and the present was transformed into something resembling a vast association of museums.....  The ‘crisis’ of the ancient world, so much talked about and fretted over in later historiography, can be sseen to have lain most fundamentally in this steady accumulation of the past within all the spaces of the present, so that to live must have in time become to have been lived, to be the abode of ghosts"

                   -- Richard Gilman, Decadence: The Strange Life of An Epithet, 1975

“... We have to ask ourselves whether or not we who are alive today are not fatally saddled with the past, carrying it around on our collective shoulders; are we not ‘old’ before we start?”

                  -- Richard Gilman, Decadence: The Strange Life of An Epithet, 1975

“The belief that there are periods in the arts when, after a brilliant flowering, decline sets in and an erstwhile robustness lapses into debility and enervation [is misguided].....  Powerful art does not ‘give way’ to weak art, turning into it like an organism running down, although what we think of as strong art may indeed be succeeded by the weak....  That there have been and continue to be times of great artistic vigor and assured style followed by ones of depleted energy and uncertain manner, and that periods of imitation often succeed ones of notable originality, is scarcely to be denied.... Now, imitation in art may be bad (Ortega y Gasset called it “nothing”, a principle of emptiness) but to call it decadent is to abandon the word’s only plausible meaning”. For if ‘decadence’ means a ‘falling down’ or ‘away’..... then the imitative by its very nature could hardly be decadent, since its repetition of what has been validated and sanctified in the imaginative realm is proof of its respect for, its unquestioning acceptance of, the norm. One may argue that the imitative might be considered decadent because it falls away from an ideal of originality, but this is not how critics or academics... have ever argued. In any case, imitation is its own condemnation and has no need for ‘decadence’ to inform us about itself”

--- - Richard Gilman, splitting hairs a bit, Decadence: The Strange Life of An Epithet, 1975

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