Strangeness and Beauty: Volume 2, Pater to Symons: An Anthology of Aesthetic Criticism 1840-1910
This is a two-volume anthology of criticism of art and literature from approximately 1840 to 1910. The central purpose of the anthology is to show how Romantic ideas of art and imagination were transformed by a number of writers in the nineteenth century and became the fundamental premisses of modernist aesthetics. The presiding genius of volume 2 is Pater, who was much influenced by Ruskin's belief in refining and educating the senses as a path to spiritual fulfilment. However, whereas Ruskin saw this education as a means of enriching the moral and religious life conceived in fundamentally orthodox terms, Pater regards religion as a supreme aesthetic experience with no particular connections either with morality or with any bourgeois virtues. Those who came under Pater's influence envinced disdain for the social order and its accepted values; this new tone is evident in the work of George Moore, Whistler and Wilde, all represented in this volume. The final author in this anthology, Arthur Symons, forms one of the principal links between nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetics, for it was his introduction of the French Symbolists to England, which was to give such a powerful impulse to the innovations of Eliot and Pound.
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abstract aesthetic Arthur Symons artist Baudelaire beauty become believe Blake called cave charm Coleridge colour consciousness criticism Dante Dante Gabriel Rossetti Decadent Movement Degas delight desire divine drama dream elements emotion England English eternal expression exquisite eyes flowers French Gautier genius Gerard de Nerval Giorgione Greek human ideal ideas imaginative impression influence instinct intellectual light Lionel Johnson literary live Marius the Epicurean matter mind modern Moore moral mystic nature never nineteenth century Nouvelle Athenes Oscar Wilde painter painting Parsifal passion Pater Pater's essay perfect perhaps philosophy picture poem poet poetic poetry Pre-Raphaelites prose Prosper Merimee published realised reality Renaissance romantic Romanticism Rossetti Ruskin seems sense Shelley soul spirit strange style subtle Symbolist Movement symbols Symons Symons's things thought tion true truth Verlaine verse vision Walter Pater Whistler Wilde William Blake words Wordsworth write Yeats Yeats's