Philosophy of the Artistic Life
-by Samuel Ramos-

translated by D. Ohmans
© copyright 2018

Text imprint Mexico City, Espasa-Calpe, ©1950 (1994)

Philosophy of the Artistic Life TOC
INTRODUCTION o concept of Aesthetics o realm of Aesthetics o method and problems of Aesthetics 1. FIRST PART 1.1. The Subject of Art o the aesthetic position o Apollonian and Dionysian o feelings in art o expression in art o relation of expressive form to content o the artistic language 1.2. Psychology of the Artist and of Creativity o psychology of the artist o memory o fantasy o artistic will o emotional projection o abstraction in art o artistic creation o taste 1.3. The Artistic Personality o personality in general o the artistic personality o artist's disinterest o artist and bourgeois o artist and the masses o artist's freedom o artist and politics o the artist and love o art and religion o artistic personality types 1.4. The Spectator 1.5. The Interpreter 1.6. The Critic 2. SECOND PART 2.1. The Aesthetic Object o metaphysics of art o art and reality relationship o transposition of meaning 2.2. Aesthetic Values o aesthetic value problems o natural beauty o non-aesthetic artwork values o aesthetic values as value ranges o the pretty 2.3. Poetry o poet and poetry o metaphoric expression o rhythm 2.4. Music o essence of music o feeling in music o musical action o classicism and Romanticism 2.5. Plastic Arts o meaning of the plastic vision o primitive art modern art o caricature 2.6. Dance 2.7. Essence of Art's Function in Human Life 2.8. Art and Society NOTES

INTRODUCTION    In this book the author has wanted to expound his ideas on diverse themes in Aesthetics that have resulted from an elaboration, not only of lectures upon this philosophical question, but also from personal experiences obtained through the frequentation of art and artists over many years. This is the reason for which I have taken the liberty of developing many ideas in this book, those which have presented themselves to my reflection, without worrying about considering whether they fall or not within the boxes of the existing aesthetic doctrines. Nor has it been my my purpose to concern myself with all the problems that have emerged around this domain of philosophy, but only with some questions that have attracted my interest, perhaps because they are the most important to the matter with which we deal. I have expounded almost all these subjects in my course on Aesthetics in the Department of Philosophy of the University of México, and they have matured considerably, with the purpose of verifying whether those ideas correspond to the reality of art better than the theories expressed previously. Yet lately, my thought has begun with certain aesthetic ideas from the past and the present to which reference is made in the text. If the reader finds certain viewpoints partial or unilateral, this is due to the schematism or to a deficiency in the exposition, given that I am profoundly convinced that the variety and multiplicity of artistic manifestations is so heterogeneous that aspects can always be found that seem to contradict any aesthetic thesis. I should here express my recognition to the CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS FILOSÓFICOS of the University of México, under whose auspices it was possible to conclude the drafting of this book. concept of Aesthetics. -- Reflection upon problems of beauty and art is already found in Greek thought and is not totally absent from medieval philosophy, nor from the thinkers of the first centuries of the modern age. Yet those meditations do not comprise a separate discipline, but instead are found integrated into overall philosophy without one knowing precisely the place it should be located. Aesthetics is constituted as a special science around the 18th century in the work of Alexander Baumgarten, a disciple of Christian Wolf. Baumgarten calls Aesthetics a science which by analogy to logical reason will be a sort of logic of sensory representation. Now then; influenced by the an idea of Leibniz, Baumgarten thus considers that the perfection of rational knowledge is truth, the perfection of sensory representation is beauty. These thus become the fundamental object of the new science called Aesthetics. Despite that Baumgarten's work does not have much to do with the true problem of beauty, its designation was used to name, finally, not the science of sensibility corresponding to its etymology, but the science that is occupied exclusively with the problems of art and of beauty. The use of the word has been generalized, and today the whole world gives it this last meaning. In its technical sense, Aesthetics is a philosophical science that treats its object with the same methodical rigor with which logic or ethics treat theirs. realm of Aesthetics. -- Traditionally aesthetics, since Plato, is concerned with the philosophical problem of the beautiful, sometimes in nature, others in art. Yet contemporary thought tends to circumscribe the realm of aesthetics to philosophical reflection upon the phenomenon of art in all its amplitude, which also comprehends the problem of the beautiful. This does not exclude consideration of the beautiful in nature, even when it is a complementary matter and of secondary importance. In effect, it cannot be ignored that art fills a considerable portion of the world of culture and this fact captures the attention of philosophy with much greater interest than the topic of natural beauty. Art is a product of mankind's spiritual activity and should be considered above all as a phenomenon of culture, not as a natural phenomenon. Aesthetics should revolve, then, around its peculiar object, the phenomenon of art, understanding by that name all that occurs in the vast domain of human existence, individual and social, which we designate with the expression, artistic life. Within this concept are included all the human activities that refer to art, creation as well as artistic contemplation, interpretation, criticism of art, etc. Naturally all these activities refer to a set of works that we call artistic and implies that aesthetics' preferred mode is to examine these works as facts given in our human reality. The phenomenon of art is presented in a duality of elements on the part of the artistic subject, who can be creator, spectator, interpreter, or critic and on the other, the real object which is the artwork. The essential details of the aesthetic phenomenon should then be sought in the varied relations that obtain between those two poles: the subject of art and the work of art. Yet it is also indubitable that the essence of art cannot be fully discovered while the existing relations between artistic activities and human life in its total reality are not determined as exactly as possible. method and problems of Aesthetics. -- That which we call aesthetics today, that is, philosophical reflection about art and beauty, was born in the heart of Plato's metaphysics and has only comprised an independent philosophical discipline since the 18th century. This does not deny that it may have still existed in the previous century anchored in metaphysics. The concept of art and of beauty, in this type of aesthetics, is deduced from a previous conception of the world and of life with the goal of incorporating them within the metaphysical architecture. When this metaphysics collapses the aesthetic conception also collapses. The characteristic of this metaphysical aesthetics is that the artistic values remain more or less dependent upon other external values, like the good or the true. In this manner the substantiality of the artistic function is lessened. Yet this manner of thinking that much dignity in spiritual life is conceded to art, as occurs in the German philosophy of Romanticism. Nevertheless, the most fertile impetus for aesthetics proceeds from that philosophy which has recognized the autonomous value of art and of beauty. This occurs for example with the thought of Kant, who by investigating the principle underlying the validity of judgments of taste encounters the details which differentiate beauty from the useful, from the agreeable, from the moral, from knowledge, etc. No philosopher until Kant had indicated with such rigor the autonomous character of the sphere of beauty as well as its dignity, reserving for it a separate place within philosophy, at the same level as logic and ethics. In the 19th century, as a reaction against the speculative metaphysics of German Romanticism, Gustav Theodor Fechner attempts to convert aesthetics into a positive independent science, subject to the methods of the natural sciences. This is what is called "aesthetics from below," in contradistinction to the "aesthetics from above" that is purely speculative. Fechner's intent consists of subjecting works of art to a rigorous experimental method. At root Fechner reduced aesthetics to a branch of psychology that investigates the processes of the soul provoked by art. In a similar fashion other thinkers of the past century have investigated art in relation to layers of the phenomenon such as the biological and the sociological. Around the end of the past century a series of works appear that try to study certain special manifestations of art in isolation and which its authors separate from general aesthetics, naming it science of art (Kunstwissenschaft). This science of art has its most remote antecedents in Aristotle's Poetics, and later in works such as Lessing's Laocoon or in Winkelmann's research. In our era this direction is represented by men like Sempers, Wölfflin, Riegl, Worringer, etc. These researches, as opposed to psychological and subjectivist aesthetics, represent an objective direction, starting from examination of the work of art in its concrete peculiarity. It separately studies painting, music, literature, et cetera or even circumscribes an era or a style: Greek art, Gothic art, etc. It is justly called a science for the particularity of its object, its methods and explicative principles, which do not attempt to be a general aesthetics. Worringer comes to maintain that so- called general aesthetics is, in reality, an aesthetics of classical art. To like this science of art or not implies a series of aesthetic principles, some derived from the investigation itself, that underlie the particular limitation of the application and that can apply to all aesthetics, as already occurred in Aristotle's discoveries in researching Greek tragedy. In the field of philosophy the discovery of the new sphere of values (axiology) also has great resonance for aesthetics, which in some of its directions is applied to the examination and determination of values in art, similar to what has been done in other philosophical domains, as for example in ethics. Notwithstanding the unilaterality of each one of the tendencies indicated above, it is undeniable that all of them have been of great value for aesthetics, which today has available an immense amount of data, such as surely has never existed in any previous epoch. Perhaps the most arduous problem of aesthetics is to recover, interpret and systematically order the very rich documentation that now is found around it. From all the foregoing it results that aesthetics has used different methods, which are: 1st, speculative metaphysics, which consists in starting from a philosophical conception of the world and including art in it, like a piece of the system. This aesthetics occupies itself preferentially with the problem of the beautiful and considers it in connection with other entities of the spiritual world, like the true and the good. The aesthetic doctrine is founded upon the metaphysical postulates of the system and in consequence has a heteronomous character. Second, the transcendental method of Kant and the neo-Kantians begins with artistic consciousness to ascertain the conditions that make art possible, and the foundations of the validity of aesthetic judgments and norms. In this area one can cite as examples, in addition to the Critique of Judgment, by Kant, Normative Aesthetics by Jonas Cohn. 3rd, Fechner's empirical method, that makes a positive science of aesthetics, in a primarily subjective and psychological direction. 4th, the science of art (Kunstwissenschaft) that studies the artwork in its concrete manifestations and attempts to determine what is the particular essence of each one of them. Example: the essence of the Gothic, of the baroque, of the primitive, etc. Given that aesthetics has to define the concept of art, its great problem lies in the multiplicity of historical forms that barely seem to have anything in common among them. The forms of art vary with the peoples, the times, the cultures, the places; in a single place at one time the art varies from individual to individual. The artistic values have highs and lows, sometimes at short intervals and seemingly subject to the whims of fashion. The history of art offers the most dissimilar instances of what should be recognized as beauty. It suffices to compare some examples of Greek art, Chinese art, Mayan art, or modern European art to comprehend how distinct are the ideals of beauty that correspond to each one of these peoples. Aesthetics as a science finds it desirable to seek a unitary concept of art that subsumes all its forms, yet this aspiration seems irreconcilable with its multiplicity. The affirmation would seem justified regarding the science of art that most prudent would be to content oneself with the particular aesthetics relative to a concrete type of art. Art is arduous problem for philosophy due to the mobility and imprecision of the artistic life which is the primordial datum upon which aesthetic research should be based. The artistic life includes on one hand artistic works of all kinds, and on the other the subjects of that life who are the artists and the public, who perform diverse art-related activities such as creation, contemplation, judgment and valuation, etc. If we cast a glance at the panorama of contemporary art we notice that the artists appear affiliated to very disparate and even contradictory tendencies or schools, which fight among themselves. At times it seems that the artists do not possess a clear consciousness as to what as such is their mission to accomplish. In our time those divergent directions that prevail in the realms of art are reflected in the configuration of artworks of limitless variety, which disconcerts philosophical reflection. In effect, how can we find the essential notes of a certain general validity in something that does not seem subject to fixed norms? How to define the laws of a world where the arbitrary appears to reign? If from the totality of the artistic life we pass to consider the isolated work of art, we find in it, on first examination, new aspects that complicate the task of aesthetics. Whatever may be the parentage of an artwork, if it has its own meaning then that is never a rational meaning, but instead must originate from a specific function. Now then, since the goal of aesthetics is to understand the art rationally, does it not then become an impossibility for philosophy to have to reduce it to ideas that are in themselves rational? It is necessary, furthermore, to consider the fact that the artistic work attains its fulfillment the more it is singularized to differentiate it from others, which then results in a greater complication of the problem, it we take into account that intelligence, by nature, tends in its conceptions to unity and generalization. While the scientific pretensions of aesthetics imposes the obligation of defining a concept of art that might work equally for all its concrete manifestations, the artistic production disperses into a heterogeneity of works that barely seem to have among them a common trait. Nevertheless, however different these numerous varieties of art may be, they perform the same human function. The persons belonging to different ages or cultures experience the same feelings before the products that they each call their art. Thus then, it seems that art is like a constant spiritual direction, yet which can be satisfied by works of the most varied form. To that spiritual direction in the subjects there corresponds in the works a mode of being that is always the same. That is to say, the more heterogeneous the artworks may be, they all have in common their sense of representations or fantasies, which are lived by the subjects as such and not as true realities. From these considerations we deduce that the method of aesthetics should tend toward investigation of that constant spiritual function which we call artistic, clearly differentiating it from other similar or related functions; towards the determination of the meaning that that artistic function has for human life in general. And also aesthetics should include a sort of ontology of art that would have as purpose the precise determination of the artwork's mode of being. One might call this part of aesthetics a metaphysics of art that would not imply the inclusion of art within a general conception of the world and of life, but instead be simply the special investigation of the mode of being of the art independently of all general metaphysics. It would be what Husserl calls a "regional ontology." Implicit in the solution to the questions posed here is the response to the queries that should be proposed as the enigmas of all aesthetics: What is art, or, what is the meaning of art? It is evident that an adequate solution of these problems can only be provided by the philosopher who has rich artistic experience. Only by submerging herself in the life of the art can the aesthete orient herself surely regarding the questions that correspond to her sphere. Personal experience of the art as well as wide documentation of previously obtained results will be the instruments of the aesthetic research. Finally the truths conquered by the grand philosophical tradition of aesthetics, utilized as assumptions that it is first necessary to verify with one's own experience of the art, can then be admitted as categories of aesthetic thought. The philosopher of art can adopt as a methodological principle the objective consideration of the artwork and, at the same time, the creative activities of the artists, as well as the different forms of contemplation among the spectators to the art. Yet liking it or not has to influence their own artistic consciousness in their philosophical meditations, the manner that they live and concretely understand the works of art, in accordance with their personal taste. In a word, Aesthetics cannot be foreign to the individual modalities of artistic temperament in the philosopher, to the tone of their experiences and the interpretations they impress in each particular case. In my view, this personal position of the philosopher before the art is the fundamental factor that shall decide the orientation of their aesthetic conclusions. Therefore it is indispensable to require from the philosopher of art not only temperament, but also a certain artistic culture organized under the direction of good taste. Otherwise, a deficiency in this personal baggage of the philosopher can be the cause of fundamental errors in their aesthetic speculation, of which, due to this same deficiency, they cannot be conscious. It is also of the greatest importance that when the capacities indicated exist in the philosopher of art one should be careful not to detract from and annul them, placing oneself, surely, before the artwork as a philosopher instead of doing so as a simple artistic spectator, for their experience will only have value if they do not lose their authenticity. It may be assumed that in the majority of cases the aesthetes have felt attracted to this field of philosophy by virtue of a personal inclination and taste for art, and not solely impelled by the belief that the philosopher is obliged to concern oneself with aesthetics so as not to leave a lacuna in their conception of the universe. Aesthetics should be considered as a special territory of philosophy that should not be penetrated by a thinker not possessing at the same time a certain artistic vocation, whether it be for creation or simply for contemplation. That this should be so demonstrates the fact to me that there are very few philosophers concerned with aesthetic questions, if we compare their number with those who are dedicated to other branches of philosophy. In summary, the delimitation of the proper domain of Aesthetics is the problem that we have addressed, lately, in order to avoid certain errors which disorient the concept of this discipline. In the first place, Aesthetics does not have a object to prescribe norms for artistic creation. Its mission begins when the artistic activity has completed its task, like a posterior reflection that tries to discover the laws which rule the aesthetic phenomenon. The role of the philosophy of art is purely theoretical, originating in a need to understand intellectually what is art in general and what are its relations with the totality of human life. Art is an activity that presents multiform manifestations throughout history. Aesthetics should seek the permanent in the midst of the changes in art, with the times and places, until discovering its non-temporal essence; it should pursue the ahistorical moment in the midst of the historical flux of the art. Many errors in traditional Aesthetics should be attributed to insufficient knowledge on the part of the philosopher concerning artistic questions and, at times also, to a radical incomprehension of art for lack of an adequate sensibility. It is an elementary methodological principle that the philosopher provide a rich artistic experience as a basis to ground their reflections. If indeed aesthetic speculation ought to start from the life of the art itself, this does not mean that it is going to proceed according to an empirical method. Art in its concrete manifestations is the material of Aesthetics, yet the object that the latter seeks through the former has an ideal character. We can establish that the method of aesthetics, to avoid artificial constructions, should combine a priori deduction with direct observation of the phenomena of art. Without possessing certain suppositions in advance a philosophical interpretation of art will be impossible. And furthermore, the results of deduction without confronting it to artistic experience can be very satisfactory for logic, yet find itself in total discordance with the reality of the art. One of the most serious pitfalls of Aesthetics, as an effort of intellectual comprehension, is the indubitable fact of the irrationality of art. Art appears, certainly, as an emotional event. And that which for sentiment is perfectly clear and comprehensible, becomes rebellious against logical understanding. As an emotional fact, art has attracted attention for its psychological side. The concept of art as an expression of feeling; the discovery oflike psychological projection in the work of art, are phenomena that instead of clarifying the concept of art have confused it. The omnipotence of emotion in every artistic phenomenon is something that can disorient the shrewdest investigator. It is not strange, then, that Aesthetics has often been absorbed by the whirlpool of psychology, and appears as a special chapter of that science. We do not deny that the Psychology of art is an indispensable datum for aesthetics. Art has a subjective side, whose study is of undeniable importance, as for example aesthetic pleasure, aesthetic creation. But the consideration of the psychological elements which enter into the phenomena of art should not cloud our knowledge of the non-psychological principles that give them aesthetic meaning. All aesthetic research requires for effective application to go equipped with certain categories for the adequate elaboration of the empirical material. This material is principally composed by the artworks and the aesthetic experiences. It is evident that such categories should not be those utilized in other sciences. The peculiar nature of the object of Aesthetics to be effectively studied demands special categories, shaped in an exclusive mode for the treatment of the materials offered by the life of art. It is possible that in many of the aesthetic doctrines that figure in the history of philosophy, categories of this type may have been unconsciously employed, beginning the moment the proper essence of the art was discovered and care was taken not to describe it through principles taken from other domains. Yet it certain that until the present research has not been launched to make clear what are the principles that should be exclusive to the field of aesthetics. On this question the analysis of the aesthetic experiences can be very instructive and fertile when it applies the phenomenological method to this research. What can be decisive in this analysis is the discovery, by means of intuition, of certain essential notes in the phenomena of art, which later can serve as guiding principles for the development of the aesthetic doctrine. Intuition allows abstracting for an individual experience certain essential relations that acquire universal validity. Only in this way can one establish, for example, the difference that exists between an aesthetic feeling and one that is not. In general, only by means of this principle, discovered through intuition, can the psychological investigation of art transcend the sphere of psychology to penetrate the domain of Aesthetics.
FIRST PART THE SUBJECT OF ART the aesthetic position. -- It is said, frequently, that art emerges from a human contemplative attitude, for passive recreation before the world that surrounds them or their own interior world. If it is true that contemplation somehow intervenes in the aesthetic position as one of its moments, it cannot be already considered as its essential and exclusive note, because it does not constitute the goal of the processes that appear in artistic activities, and which also exist in other human activities such as, for example, the theoretical (scientific, philosophical). The contemplative position is not in itself an aesthetic position, yet it is a condition previous to it. Whoever is not capable of contemplation cannot arrive at the aesthetic position. Every contemplative attitude implies a capacity for abstraction, that is, a capability for disinterest in the needs and pressures that real life imposes. It seems that this idea of considering art as contemplation originated when aesthetics was concerned above all with thinking of man and "natural beauty"; and, certainly it has connections with the old Platonic theory that art is an "imitation of nature." Art consists, then, in a manner of living certain impressions that arrive in consciousness; yet such artistic experience, far from being passive contemplation, implies on the contrary an activity of spirit that elaborates the impressions received in light of a finality which transcends them. What perhaps was meant to be expressed with the idea of contemplation, is the fact that inlike the aesthetic position one does not react to impressions in the usual form, that is, in a principally practical way, but instead in another sense which is precisely that characteristic of the aesthetic position. If in other areas of life the subjects encounter the made object and behave before it according to what it really is, in the aesthetic position the object must be created or re- created by the subject, although with elements that it acquires from their impressions. If there is a sort of activity of the spirit of which it can be said that the object is the creation of the subject, that activity is art. Thus it is not enough to admit that art might be a mere imitation of nature. In consequence, it cannot be denied that one of the essential components of the aesthetic position is a capacity for creation that in the usual terminology is denominated with the name of fantasy. Of what this type of creation consists, that is called artistic fantasy, is a theme we shall treat later.
Apollonian and Dionysian. -- The psychological perspicacity of Nietzsche led him to observe the analogy that exists between the state of an artistic soul and the states of sleep and drunkenness. What these human states have in common is a momentary rupture with reality, a sort of insensitivity to real impressions that liberates the subject's imagination and other processes of the mind, those which during that time occur outside of all rational logic and the norms of the real. Furthermore, in sleep and drunkenness the individual forgets himself and experiences a joyful liberation from the duties and preoccupationslike pertaining to life. But in actual sleep and drunkenness the unconsciousness of reality causes the individuals to lose all notion of themselves and of that which actually happens to them. There is so to speak a general weakening in all the faculties of the subject. In the artistic state, whereas the more sleep and drunkenness approach ecstasy the more they produce insensibility to real impressions, the individual remains in full control of their consciousness and knows that the dream is a dream, and that the exaltation which they experience in drunkenness is pure drunkenness. Certainly the individual forgets herself in the artistic state, but she would not be able to experience the intense enjoyment that accompanies it if her entire consciousness were debilitated, if it were not found in full possession of its faculties. The artistic subject is delivered in sleep to the free play of the imagination, and in drunkenness to that of the feelings, but in that freedom there cannot be caprice and chance, as in those similar states when they are not artistic. A certain law or norm ought to regulate the development of the imagination and of feeling, so that they can attain their true aesthetic quality. It might be said that in habitual life imagination and feeling are chained to logic, to duty, to practical necessity, but through the aesthetic dream and drunkenness they are freed, so as not to be delivered to an incoherent meaningless flirtation, but instead to obey a profound individual will, which proposes a certain ideal finality. For these two artistic states Nietzsche finds the symbolic names oflike Apollonian and Dionysian, which constitute separate categories, susceptible of being manifested in diverse genres of art but that also can co- penetrate in a fertile union, such as the masculine and the feminine in the living generation's order. The Apollonian artist is the dreamer or visionary who calmly and serenely is re-created in the representation of images and forms in which beauty is revealed to the eyes, as in the epic poet's descriptions, the poetic metaphors, the colors and forms of the visible world. Here the gamut of the plastic arts will enter with its objective representations of nature and of life. The Dionysian artist is the one possessed by delirium, by the divine mania, described by Plato and originating with the Muses. He is the one whose interior life exalted by aesthetic drunkenness seeks emotional expression in the channel of lyrical poetry or of music. Or is the inspired one who creates the voice of a divinity and speaks in prophetic or symbolic poetry. In the word or the song of the Dionysian artist the deepest will of life can be heard. Finally from the communion of the Apollonian and Dionysian, from the plastic and the lyrical the state of soul will originate that leads to dramatic expression, to the theatre or to dance. The interest offered by the distinction that Nietzsche indicates is that the imagination enters the play of imagination in the Apollonian state, while in the Dionysian state the feeling appear, in an intense state. These two spiritual functions, in the normal condition of humanity before existence, are exercised more or less but always beneath the norms of reality or of the intelligence. Judged from the viewpoint of the vital interests the dictates of the imagination and of feeling can appear wanting in reality or in logic. No one could accept the whims of the imagination or the fancies of the imagination or the impulses of feeling as norms of conduct. Instead, when we place ourselves in an aesthetic position, we abstract from reality and from logic and we feel it is legitimate to obey the imagination or feeling. This means that the aesthetic states are characterized by the momentary liberation from the imperatives of reality or of logic to enjoyably involve the play of fantasies and the rapture of the feelings. feelings in art. -- The aesthetic state contains something that is somehow represented, yet also is an experience tinged by a strong affective coloration. As such the volume of the feelings is notable and they are presented in such a prominent manner to the aesthetic consciousness that it is not strange that its more profound and essential layers may be hidden, and have been identified with artistic experience. In different formulas, yet which express the same idea, one has attempted to determine, with a definitive aesthetic truth, the relationship of art to feeling, above all for the thinkers who have model of Romanticism for their prototype of art. These formulas has come to be a common area among cultured people and have even been imposed among the researchers. I do not know up to what point it can be affirmed that this prejudice is one of the causes that has led to consideration of aesthetics as a simple branch of psychology. Now then, since the aesthetic sentiments are always of a pleasurable tonality, the linking of this thesis with aesthetic hedonism is easily understood. Eminent aesthetes have found nothing firmer nor better than aesthetic joy to establish the supreme criterion of beauty in art. The ascription of art into the sphere of feelings represents a conquest of modern Aesthetics achieved by Kant, in his Critique of Judgment. To affirm it we have in mind that with Enlightenment thought, especially with French classicism, art was referred to reason and consequently beauty was considered as a certain kind of truth. Only recall the expression from Boileau's Poetics, "nothing more beautiful than truth." Except for the case of some philosophers who had a clear consciousness of the artistic temper, one can say that there existed in aesthetics the greatest vagueness and imprecision regarding the psychic function whence art derived. Therefore Kant's theory arrived to clarify the situation concerning this problem in a definitive manner. Only after Kant, in the subjectivist doctrines of the 19th century that explained art as a mere psychic experience, the participation of feeling is erroneously conceived, for it seems to believe that the phenomenon of art is exhausted with the internal emotive states. Thus it falls into a subjectivism that diminishes the importance or annuls the objectivity of artistic values, such that the valuation will consist of attributing to objects qualities they do not have and which are projections of our states of pleasure and displeasure. The artistic criteria will be, then, these feelings. What such a subjectivist position could not come to understand is that objects are not beautiful or ugly because they please or disgust us, but on the contrary please or disgust us because they are beautiful or ugly. An objective and impartial examination of the aesthetic experience cannot ignore the truth of that event, which is, the presence of an important emotional element without which the phenomenon of art could not be understood. Yet the recognition of this truth in no way implies accepting the consequences which, with pretensions of scientific validity, have been deduced for aesthetics. Notwithstanding that art is a phenomenon of an emotional type, it seems false to maintain that its goal and its destiny are exhausted in those subjective states. A phenomenological analysis of aesthetic experience can demonstrate that it does not originate in and for feeling. Otherwise art would be confined in the cavern of subjectivity without any transcendence outside of itself. The doctrine of aesthetic pleasure as the principle of art leads inevitably to individualism, to the negation of all objective norms and thereby to the justification of the proverb de gustibus non est disputandum. It is easy to comprehend how this viewpoint flows logically into the negation of aesthetics itself, for this needs to assume, like all science, that in what it makes its object of knowledge there must exist a key or a law. What in my judgment is an error in this conception is not conceding a role of the first order to feeling in the aesthetic phenomenon, but instead the false psychological interpretation of emotional life upon which it rests. The subjectivist unilaterality of this doctrine derives from that tacitly or explicitly feeling is conceived as a phenomenon oriented toward the side of the I, of the subject who experiences it. At the root of this interpretation of the feelings, which was so for the long period of empirical psychology, lies the idea of considering them as confused states of the soul that lack meaning beyond the subject. Yet psychology has discovered that feelings are not blind, but instead make reference to something beyond the subject, that is, to an objective motivation. If I am enthusiastic, happy or sad, it is not simply because I am. It is an object that enthuses me, makes me happy or saddens me. If I feel pleasure or pain it is because there exists an objective situation that causes me enjoyment or to suffer. So then, my sentiment is directed toward that object which provokes it and that is what is first presented to consciousness. When I am happy or joyful to see a masterpiece of painting, what offers itself first to my attention is not the subjective state of pleasure, but the plastic values of the painting, that is, colors, forms, etc. The error in this direction of thought rests in considering that feelings in general or pleasure in particular are the "intentional goal" of aesthetic experience. Here Aristotle's profound observation in the Nicomachean Ethics might be applied, when in analyzing the relations of pleasure with action declares that the goal of the latter is never the pleasure, but instead the action itself which is nothing else than life. The pleasure is added to action like flowering is added to youth. This truth discovered by Aristotle combats all hedonism, not only in morality, but also in art. One can find all sorts of feelings in aesthetic experience always clothed in a pleasant tint and without them experience would not have an aesthetic character. Yet nevertheless, those feelings do not constitute the goal of the experience, and if they do acquire an aesthetic quality it is by virtue of objective motives that are primarily aesthetic. A phenomenological examination of the aesthetic consciousness might reveal that the subject does not pursue art in order to provoke an excitation of feelings or merely to procure pleasure. Were this so we would esteem as superior those sub-products of art made deliberately with such ends and which today inundate commerce. In the theatre, in the novel, in music, production abounds of dubious and frankly bad quality, whose effect is comparable to a drug, whereby erotic, truculent, humorous, et cetera themes are developed with no art whatsoever. This immense group might include the short entertainment novel, which crowds magazines throughout the world, the popular music of the city for song or for dance, the theatre for amusement in its multiple forms, and finally the cinema. Today all this production is avidly sought by the masses and it cannot be denied that it responds to a human need, created precisely by modern life. Nor can it be denied that in the midst of this production there appears from time to time examples of true artistic value which, together, can exercise a greater influence upon art as has occurred, for example, with the music of jazz. Yet what is certain is that all this production is sought with hedonistic goals. The same does not occur in the case of true art. As much as this might be linked to an intense enjoyment and comprise, also, in a deeper sense, a diversion, the representation of pleasure or the diversion does not appear in the consciousness of the subjects who seek it as the primary intention. That is to say, the artistic consciousness is not initially directed toward the possible subjective resonances, yet instead is projected outwards motivated by interest in the values of the artistic object. These affirmations place feelings in their true place within the aesthetic experience and do not invalidate, of course, the need to ask why art produces an intense emotion and why this is always pleasing. The only immediate answer is that that emotionality indicates the deep roots which art has in human vitality; for its part hedonism suggests that art should satisfy an urgent necessity of life itself. One can observe that imagination and feeling are the functions whose exercise is found most repressed in ordinary life. They are accepted as impulses, yet are feared as perturbing elements for practical conduct. It follows that their free exercise is always impeded and only permitted to intervene on a small scale and under the control of judgment. Meanwhile imagination and feeling are seen to be tightly linked to the will. Certain desires and aspirations are not easily realizable, and they impel us to imaginings accompanied by emotions that remain suffocated in the intimacy of our life. Imagination seems destined to compensate in a fictitious manner for the aspirations of our will that have no space within the real conditions of existence. These psychological conditions explain the intense necessity for expression that animates the artistic experiences. Art offers one the opportunity of giving free expansion to those aspects of the spirit that do not obtain satisfaction in life. Art is sometimes like an escape valve which permits releasing this spiritual tension. Naturally such psychic factors do not suffice to explain the aesthetic position. Given these subjective conditions, it is indispensable that the subject be able to channel them onto an ideal plane and find full satisfaction in certain objective values that appear there. expression in art. -- Up to now we have described aesthetic experience as a psychic process not exceeding the realm of subjectivity. Such a process, however, because of the internal tension, is animated by a dynamism that tends to transcend it, to give it expression, and as an expressive impulse realizes its theme precisely in the work of art. It happens, frequently, that the artistic position is motivated by an imperious need for expression. It might be repeated here that the moment of expression can only exist in the experience of the producing artists, and not in that of other subjects who are limited to contemplating the already produced art. Yet it is also true that the artwork fulfills an expressive function with respect to the contemplator. The public enjoys art, among other things, because they find in it an expression of their own life, and thus the individual work of the creator acquires the value of a collective expression. The simple reading of poetry pleases one because it gives her a voice for her feelings, her desires or her ideals, which she would not know how to express by herself. What the non-artist finds in art is the image of himself. Regarding its interpreters, such as the actor or the musician, their mission is to disentangle the artistic expression contained in the author's original text. Expression is, then, an essential moment in the artistic process and thus we shall approach it now. Benedetto Croce, in the first version of his aesthetic thought, establishes a complete identity between art and expression and considers therefore that aesthetics is a science of expression. Since expression is a general human phenomenon, the difference between the expression of the artist and that of the common man will be only one of degree, not of substance. Can a full identification of art and expression be justified? A simple observation of the facts seems to belie it, for since men are social beings, they live by continual expression and it is notorious that their habitual expression is not artistic. Expression is undoubtedly a much vaster genre that comprehends not only the human, but also the animal and the vegetable; art is only one of its species. If expression is an inseparable trait of art, it is then necessary to define its characteristics, that which distinguishes expression which is not aesthetic. Expression is a phenomenon whose goal is to reveal a meaning. In all expression there exists a duality of elements: one more or less hidden that cannot be manifested by itself and another visible one which is a function of the first and only serves as vehicle in order to reveal it. A palpable example of this duality is in gestures or words as expressions of the animating processes. Common expression in human beings, voluntary or involuntary, pursues above all one vital goal of social communication or the relief of an internal psychic tension. The expressive form itself is less important and what matters is the achievement of the goal. So, the form of expression should involve the maximum of economy of effort, and might very well pass unnoticed, in order to attain its objective. In everyday social life, it is more comfortable to use the pat phrases and common constructions of which the language is full, which suffice for our practical necessities of expression. The language in its totality can be considered like a mechanism run by the history of a people and which is ready to serve our needs for communication with others. The expression of individuals in their habitual conduct is an easily handled automatic function, thanks to hereditary dispositions and to custom. Once apprenticeship is concluded, expression becomes a habit whose exercise does not require great effort in its concrete applications. As against this sphere of habitual expression, artistic expression constitutes another completely distinct world. The expressive will of the artist is very different from will in habitual expression. For the artist the expressive form acquires a value that it does not possess in habitual conduct. From the vulgarity or insignificance that it has in common language, it is elevated to a range wherein it is valuable in itself. Yet in what does the value of the expressive medium consist? We could say in the first place that artistic expression is a more complete, fuller expression than habitual expression. It is, so to speak, a compromise expression, with the minimum of resources that suffice for the practical ends, even when thus we can barely understand it. The common person does not know how to express himself except with the automatic elements that the language presents already made in advance, and what does not adjust to those limited means will remain unexpressed. Artistic expression cannot be automatic. Every artist must select and elaborate their own expressive material, the more they encounter elements already formed, which we shall discuss more below. It is not true, as M. Jourdain thought, that we all speak in prose without knowing it, because prose is already a literary form in whose creation there intervenes an aesthetic selection of the expressive values. The turns and the habitual forms of the language are qualified by literary taste as vulgar and here this word assumes an aesthetic meaning, signifying the contrary of poetic or simply literary, of a negative aesthetic value. A primary characteristic of artistic expression is thus qualitative, dealing with a selective expression before the vulgar expression. The verse of a poet says better what we feel in a given moment, than to simply say, I am sad or am happy, or I am in love. The artist is one who can better express herself than the common man. Her expression is comparatively more perfect. The thrust of artistic expression furthermore contains other traits that distinguish it from the habitual. Given that in the common person the expressive form only has the value of a simple means, once that end has been attained, the former is forgotten and disappears. What remains present in the receiving consciousness is the content of the expressions, and can more or less persist in recalling the meaning of the ideas, feeling or desires that have been communicated, but the words with which all this was said "are cast to the wind." Nothing can frighten the artist more than this fugacity of expression, and thus their will aspires to achieve a lasting expressive form that subsists even when the importance of the idea declines over time. One cannot be an artist who does not understand the inner will of the most beautiful form of expression, unless they aspire to "say things well." The value of the content, as for example it social, historical, philosophical truth, et cetera, is perishable and fleeting, but if this is cast in a beautiful form, it will remain forever. In the will to communicate the values of permanence to expressive forms, the aspiration of immortality of the Platonic eros is revealed. Artistic expression wants, according to Nietzsche's expression, "deep eternity." One can easily see that the two traits mentioned as exclusive to artistic expression are correlative. The permanent value of the expressive form depends on its perfection and selective quality. In summary, the differential traits in aesthetic expression that Croce has ignored lie nowhere less than in those subtle and impalpable qualities which contemporary thought has described with the name of values. It is not strange that Croce would not tend to discover the difference, because his philosophy lacks this new notion of value. A last and important characteristic note of artistic expressive form can be deduced from the foregoing considerations. Given that habitual expression is poured into the social forms of the language, it is necessarily impersonal. On the other hand, since the artist flees from vulgar expression and tries to seek for herself a new manner of expression, the form selected carries a sign of the author's personality. This quality of aesthetic value that we call its originality, is nothing but a personal tone of expression. relation of expressive form to content. -- It is usually thought that the peculiar quality of an expression derives only from the values of the content that it reveals. The value of the expressive form would be nothing more than a radiation of the value of the expressed. This may be the implicit assumption in all Romantic art. One of the distinctive tendencies of Romanticism is that of avoiding any expressive form that might diminish the authenticity of the emotions and alienate them from their natural expression. In general, all art that tends towards life, sometimes until even being confused with it, and all aesthetics which justifies that tendency has to subtract value from the expressive form so as to give it instead to the content. The disdain for form is well known in some poets of Romanticism, as sometimes occurs in Victor Hugo himself, who wrote the program of that school. Yet certain directions of naturalism also have the same idea of expressive form, for which the mission of art is the representation of beauty, or what is the same, of beautiful objects. In this way a dividing line would be traced in reality that would separate one region of beauty from another region claimed by art. It would suffice, nevertheless, to revise the history of art to convince oneself that this division is artificial. In principle, all reality can be the object of art, without excluding the ugly that has representations in modern art, sometimes superb. In any event, these opinions pose for aesthetics the problem of defining the relations between the content of the art and the expressive form. In the characterization of the artistic expression we have proceeded as if the content did not exist. But it would misinterpret our thought to suppose that these ideas lead to an empty aesthetic formalism. We on the contrary believe that the content is not alien to the form of expression. It is true that the themes of art, drawn from life, might contain no artistic value in themselves, such as historical, social-psychological themes, et cetera, yet there is not the slightest doubt that an almost indissoluble relation exists between the content and the expressive form. The artistic expression is conceived by the artist and impinges upon the spectator as a totality. Only a critique of art or aesthetic reflection can separate in thought the content from the form, which then become mere abstractions. An independent expressive value cannot be conceded to the isolated form, because the expression is tied by its very essence to the meaning of the object that it reveals. Thus since the object only becomes patent through the form that expresses it, and thus the expression only has meaning with reference to the object which moves it. This mutual dependence if clearly visible in the analysis of poetic metaphor, which is treated elsewhere in this book. The aesthetic effect of the image disappears whenever its figurative meaning is incapable of suggesting the goal that such an image represents. An expressive form detached from the object is like an expression which expresses nothing and therefore ceases being one. Definitely, then, in order to attend to what is characteristic of aesthetic expression it is necessary to consider it in an integral mode with all its component elements, even if the value in some cases falls more on the how of the expression, in others on the what involved, and perhaps in the majority of cases the aesthetic value of the expression results at the same time from what is expressed and from how it is expressed. A good number of artworks express facts and objects of common life that also can be expressed through non-artistic means; an erotic poem expresses love, a poem an historical occurrence, a painting a scene from real life. That which is expressed in art does not necessarily have to be itself a theme of an artistic order. Instead, music which in its highest forms is an art that does not "represent" anything, expresses states of the soul that are very difficult to identify with corresponding ones from common life. What, for example, does Debussy's Quartet express, or let us say a concert of piano and orchestra? I am inclined to consider that in music feelings out of the ordinary are expressed, which might be denominated, for the time being, as musical sentiments. We cannot fail to mention the contribution of the expressive material for realizing the values of the artistic expression. Painting and music are arts that cannot do without the qualities of color or of sound as integral parts of the aesthetic impression. The expressive intention is only achieved through the purely sensual beauty of the coloring or the sound values. In poetry the beauty of the words also counts, as well as in sculpture where the plastic values are enhanced by the quality of the stony material. Not indifferent to the aesthetic impression is the pink tone of the marble with which the Greek artists carved the Throne of Aphrodite or the Venus of Cyrene. the artistic language. -- Art is, without a doubt, a language by means of which one tries to say something, to communicate with others. Art cannot be conceived without a public that understands and appreciates it, and is in this sense a social phenomenon. From this point of view, art is conditioned by the possibility of dialogue, which is one of the essential fundamentals of all human language. Yet art is a language of specific forms, derived from the natural forms of human expression, to cause it to serve other ends which change its expressive meaning. To confirm the idea that artistic expression has its own traits which make it different from other expressions, there is the fact that the fine arts have created their own language in the course of the history of the culture. A poetical language exists, a musical language, a pictorial language, etc. These languages are supported by certain elementary forms, determined by the expressive material of which each of the arts treats. Words for poetry, sounds for music, the colors for painting. For instance music provides a certain limited range of sounds, like the painter with a range of colors. With these elementary forms more complex ones are constructed later, as for example the tonal system in music. And even upon these forms are constructed others during the different historical epochs, that in turn are included more widely under artistic styles. The artists discover, then, in their education, a given language they must learn together with the technique of its manipulation; the art of versification, of musical composition, drawing, painting, etc. Their artistic conceptions have to be expressed through these forms created by tradition, that even while not being rigid can only be modified within certain limits. Only the great creative geniuses who revolutionize art can invent new forms of artistic expression. The artistic language impacts the artist and imposes the necessity of conceiving their ideas within the pre-established forms. Yet there exists an intention of the artist in their own expressions that distinguishes, in general, artistic expression from that which is not. The artist seeks to express their intentions not in a generic form, but instead the contrary, in one that reflects their original personality. Despite that they only have available a certain already made artistic language, they should seek the way of obtaining an original expression from it. In their expressions there is, not only the aesthetic value of the intuited object, but also the personal manner of their intuition. Whereas in common expression mankind uses social forms of the language that precisely therefore are impersonal, in artistic expression one should manifest the personality of the artist. By not doing so, their work would suffer a serious deficiency and would not be fully artistic. In summary, the artistic position is an attitude of the spirit that differs in a total fashion from any other position which the subject might adopt before the world. To achieve it certain innate dispositions are indispensable, such as abstraction and contemplation, which simply by themselves do not yet constitute the artistic position. In this last the human spirit, instead of going by what reason considers as real, is delivered to the expansion of imagination and the feelings, which habitually are found restrained to the degree convenient for the interests of life. In this sense it is said that the artistic position is characterized by expression, keeping in mind that the activities of the spirit that are demonstrated in the activity of art remain, during the remaining moments of life, inactive or in a state of repression that makes them inert. One says that the artistic position is expression, insofar as it allows freedom to expand for those elements of spiritual life which are kept immobile and hidden. Yet it is insufficient to allow them to be externalized in order to reach the artistic position, whereas it is necessary that it be done under certain directives so that such movements of the spirit are channeled towards a consciously adopted goal. In the case of the producing artists, they must will to express themselves in certain select and personal forms which as opposed to common expressions acquire an ideal value, a new meaning--so-called aesthetic value--that saves them from the fugacity of time and makes them lasting. In the case of the simple spectator, their will to expression is fulfilled through the comprehension of the new meaning that the contemplated work or spectacle has, for only that comprehension can provide a stimulus and a channel for the imaginative and emotional activity of their life, which may be found inactive or repressed. PSYCHOLOGY OF THE ARTIST AND OF CREATIVITY Art is a general human phenomenon. It occurs in every people and grade of culture, as history and ethnology demonstrate. This means that art does not constitute a luxury, but instead responds to a need deeply rooted in human nature. All humanity are capable of benefiting from the enjoyments of art, yet not everyone has the capacity of producing it. The artwork is always the fruit of individual invention and thus its production implies the existence of persons especially endowed for this end. The creator artist is always an exceptional individuality within the community. Why not all individuals are provided with the artistic gene is a mystery as impenetrable as that of knowing why not all seashells contain pearls. In our contemporary life art extends to all the social spheres, to the lowest as popular art, in the highest as cultured art. However, one can distinguish within the mass a group of artistically prepared individuals who therefore merit the name of art subjects. The greater number of these subjects are comprised of the "aficionados" and critics of art. The minority constitute the creative artists and among them and the spectators a special type is found: the interpreter of art, such as the musician, the actor, etc. So then the fully differentiated artistic subjects are: the artists, the interpreters, the spectators, and the critics of art. Modern aesthetics unreservedly recognizes the existence of an organ exclusively of creation that in its most perfect and exceptional form is genius and in the less complete and more common is artistic talent. To penetrate analytically into the profundities of this creative function is perhaps one of the most inaccessible problems of psychology, for its activity is surrounded in mystery, like the phenomenon of the generation of living beings. The unconsciousness that accompanies creation makes it impossible for the artists themselves to account for what happens in the intimacy of their spirit. It is possible only to construct the psychology of its production, utilizing the conscious phases of the creative process as fragments that can suggest in a hypothetical manner, the totality of the function. First, we shall try to sketch a psychology of the artist, starting from their most extended and visible features, to later proceed to deepen the observation up to where our limited resources permit. psychology of the artist. -- One of the features which is presented to the observer at first sight is that art does not derive from an isolated function of the human soul, which could be exercised alone without requiring concourse with other spiritual activities. The true artist works, according to the common expression, "with all their soul," and such an expression should here be taken in its literal sense. This means that the artistic activity cannot be exercised except when the totality of the human being with all their potentialities intervene in it. Consciousness must be integrally projected for the attainment of the end pursued by the artist who puts the maximum effort of their personality, of their entire life, into play. For the artist life is revealed in their activity, or what is the same, art and life are for them the same thing. Creation absorbs their entire will, all their intelligence, all their interest, all their attention, all their vitality. At its service is the entire experience of life, all their culture, everything that is and all that can be possessed by a physical and spiritual being. A great work of art does not allow the partial delivery, but only total delivery of the human being. The artistic genius carries with them the strength for their own development, or if not, it is extracted from other impulses of the individual until absorbing their entire existence. The masterly activity almost always seems to detract from the control of the will and seizes the individual like a fatalism. The artistic genius is self-sufficient in finding the means of its formation and the favorable circumstances for its exercise, without the sacrifice mattering of other needs and interests of the individual life. It has the characteristics of a fate and thus the artist is predestined or condemned to fulfill their destiny against wind and sea. The creative activity of art is not the prerogative of a single psychic function, but instead the result of various operations that are structured into a complex. From the psychological viewpoint, the process of creation should be referred to various functional elements that comprise a psychic structure, in which they work synergistically as an organization in which the parts are subordinated to the purpose of the whole. In similarity with organic activity, the whole is above the parts, and its functioning is simple, that is, is executed as a unitary act, even when this unity of action is difficult to conceive by an intelligence which wishes to comprehend it analytically. Anatomy and physiology discover in the eye a complicated organization of parts into which the visual work is divided and, nevertheless, vision is a simple act that the eye performs in an instantaneous manner. In any case, aesthetic psychology ought to strive to know the different pieces of this complicated mechanism, which is the process of artistic creation, in order to reconstruct, at least hypothetically, the fundamental lines of its functioning. We attempt, then, to distinguish the psychical elements that constitute the creative faculty of the artist. The artist lives life with a certain profundity and seriousness, and its relationship to it is established principally by means of feeling. Their grasp of the world and of life is intuitive, without excluding the possibility that the artist comes to understand the world by means of the intellect. Their thought and their conduct are determined by their emotional reactions. The artist is frequently capable of unfolding their image of the world in rational concepts, even coming to define a philosophy, yet this represents, in reality, a mere intellectual disguise of their personal passions, the same for the higher as for the lower. Such an attitude demonstrates that the artist exists more enclosed in subjectivity than the philosopher or the man of science who, among other things, favor objectivity. These opposite traits do not imply a difference in value between both human types; they only describe qualities inherent in two different ways of being, by virtue of which each of those types is capable of fulfilling their respective vocation. The artist would not be an artist if they did not weight subjectivity more heavily, like the man of science or the philosopher would not be such without their favorable disposition toward objectivity. From that follows the impression of passion associated with the artistic temperament, in contrast with the equanimity and lucidity of the intellectual temperament. The subjectivism of the artist does not impede one being open and sensitive to external realities. On the contrary, one should recognize a sensibility, sometimes very extraordinary, for perceiving the external world. Such is the case of the plastic artist before the physical reality of the world, or of the poet, the novelist, the dramatist, with respect to their own and alien human life. Sensibility seems to be, then, a condition for the artist of an indispensable means for absorbing the prime material of their work. The development of the sensibility, as much physical as spiritual, also explains, in part, that depth of life which we already mentioned in the artist. Meanwhile, heightened differentiation of certain senses like sight and hearing are basic requirements for a painter or a musician to exist. In that same sense the development of certain specific faculties for particular creations, like psychological observation in the novelist, et cetera, should figure as a sine qua non condition. memory. -- Up to the present one has not insisted enough on the role played by memory in the creative process of art. But it is necessary to first explain, to what class of memory we refer. Because according to Bergson we can distinguish two classes of memory: one, the voluntary memory, through which we learn something with a utilitarian purpose. The repetition of acts coordinated by voluntary effort ends by forming automatisms which later allow us to perform them easily. Such is the case of the student who memorizes their lesson or the pianist who learns to play a new piece of music. Here repetition converts the acts into a habit, into a custom, and memory that operates like this expresses itself in actions more than in representations. Yet there exists another type of disinterested useless memory, that does not require repetition to be produced and which consists in the memory of certain events in our life in all their detail. This operates without the use of repetition, given that such occurrences only occur once, and are more manifest in images than in actions. To evoke the past in the form of an image, it is necessary to abstract from the present action, to know how to appreciate the useless, and one must want to dream. Perhaps only mankind if capable of an effort of this sort. That past which we want to relive is slippery, is on the verge of escaping from us, as if that regressive memory were contradicted by another more natural memory, which moving forward will lead us to act and to live. This spontaneous memory is perfect, since time could add nothing to its image without killing it. A spontaneous memory of our past emerges only when the pressure of the immediate vital interests is suspended, a condition that can be realized as much in wakefulness as in sleep. Due to their disinterested nature, the artist is better disposed than anyone else to evoke their past experiences, and now Dilthey makes the observation that this is one of their peculiar characteristics. In the lived memory of their previous experiences consists the imagination of the artist. The artist is capable of evoking in images perfect for their precision, experiences from their history, with such clarity and life coloration that it seems the past is revived in the present. To express this phenomenon of the artist's memory, the Germans employed the word "nacherleben," which means precisely that return to living the experiences of the past. The representation of events in poetry is the unreal appearance of a reality returned to life and, shown as returned to life, extracted from the connection with reality and with relations to our will and our interest. Nothing could better illustrate this function of memory in creative activity than a page from Marcel Proust, in Le Temps Retrouvé that is a precious document for aesthetics. In it Proust relates how he encountered his literary vocation upon discovering, through a casual association, the great power of evocation. A fragment translated below admirably summarizes the method of the author as a novelist: "How many times in the course of my life reality had disappointed me because at the moment when I perceived it, my imagination, which was my only means of enjoying beauty, could not be applied to it by virtue of the inevitable law which only allows us to imagine that which is absent. And now suddenly the effect of this hard law had become neutralized, held in suspense by a marvelous expedient of nature which had caused a sensation to flash to me--sound of a spoon and of a hammer, uneven paving-stones--simultaneously in the past which permitted my imagination to grasp it and in the present in which the shock to my senses caused by the noise had effected a contact between the dreams of the imagination and that of which they are habitually deprived, namely, the idea of existence - and thanks to that stratagem had permitted that being within me to secure, to isolate and to render static for the duration of a lightning flash that which it can never wholly grasp, a fraction of Time in its pure essence. When, with such a shudder of happiness, I heard the sound common, at once, to the spoon touching the plate, to the hammer striking the wheel, to the unevenness of the paving-stones in the courtyard of the Guermantes' mansion and the Baptistry of St. Mark's, it was because that being within me can only be nourished on the essence of things and finds in them alone its subsistence and its delight. It languishes in the observation by the senses of the present sterilized by the intelligence awaiting a future constructed by the will out of fragments of the past and the present from which it removes still more reality, keeping that only which serves the narrow human aim of utilitarian purposes. But let a sound, a scent already heard and breathed in the past be heard and breathed anew, simultaneously in the present and in the past, real without being actual, ideal without being abstract, then instantly the permanent and characteristic essence hidden in things is freed and our true being which has for long seemed dead but was not so in other ways awakes and revives, thanks to this celestial nourishment. An instant liberated from the order of time has recreated in us man liberated from the same order, so that he should be conscious of it. And indeed we understand his faith in his happiness even if the mere taste of a madeleine does not logically seem to justify it; we understand that mortality's name is meaningless to him for, placed beyond Time, how can he fear the future?... "Yes, if a memory, thanks to forgetfulness, has been unable to contract any tie, to forge any link between itself and the present, if it has remained in its own place, of its own date, if it has kept its distance, its isolation in the hollow of a valley or on the peak of a mountain, it makes us suddenly breathe an air new to us just because it is an air we have formerly breathed, an air purer than that the poets have vainly called Paradisaical, which offers that deep sense of renewal only because it has been breathed before, inasmuch as the true paradises are paradises we have lost... "And I began to discover the cause by comparing those varying happy impressions which had the common quality of being felt simultaneously at the actual moment and at a distance in time, because of which common quality the noise of the spoon upon the plate, the unevenness of the paving-stones, the taste of the madeleine, imposed the past upon the present and made me hesitate as to which time I was existing in. Of a truth, the being within me which sensed this impression, sensed what it had in common in former days and now, sensed its extra-temporal character, a being which only appeared when through the medium of the identity of present and past, it found itself in the only setting in which it could exist and enjoy the essence of things, that is, outside Time. That explained why my apprehensions on the subject of my mortality had ceased from the moment when I had unconsciously recognized the taste of the little madeleine because at that moment the being that I then had been was an extra-temporal being and in consequence indifferent to the vicissitudes of the future. That being had never come to me, had never manifested itself except when I was inactive and in a sphere beyond the enjoyment of the moment, that was my prevailing condition every time that analogical miracle had enabled me to escape from the present. Only that being had the power of enabling me to recapture former days, Time Lost, in the face of which all the efforts of my memory and of my intelligence came to naught." Memory in the sense shown constitutes a fundamental organ in the poet and generally in every artist, but insofar as that memory only evokes lived events it cannot properly be considered as a creative function. The artist is imaginative not only because they can represent past lived experiences in their vital plenitude, yet also because their imagination is capable of going far beyond lived reality. Only in this case can one speak of creation and it is this imagination that overflows the real to produce something new that merits the name of fantasy. This is that which operates in all art not complying to a natural model, yet one must also keep in mind that even naturalism in a higher sense is always the fruit of a re-creation. fantasy. -- Aristotle had already discovered the existence of a poetic faculty, different from the theoretical and from the practical, whose goal is the production of the work of art. The idea of fantasy is latent in Aristotle's thought, yet preoccupied with the Platonic theory of mimesis which he modified, he did not come to conceive it clearly. It is Philostratus who later formulated the concept of artistic fantasy. I think that what has always been considered under the name of fantasy is an imaginative capacity with the power of invention. It is the imagination that is freed from the impressions of the senses and of rational logic in order to construct, according to its own logic, relations, objects and beings which have a purely ideal existence. It is fantasy that has constructed the mythological and poetic world in which mankind lives as much as in the real world. Fantasy includes, then, the idea of a free play of the imagination, towards the re-creation of the spirit, that needs the dream as much as reality. The intimate operation of fantasy escapes psychological knowledge, because it is produced obscurely with the precision and unconsciousness of an instinct. The process of fantasy is only known to us in its final phase when it delivers its product to consciousness. This is the moment of fantasy that can be identified with so-called artistic intuition. The image is presented spontaneously, sometimes without the artist seeking it in those happy moments that one calls inspiration, revealing itself to consciousness already fully formed. If it is true that fantasy is an innate disposition which operates silently in the unconscious, this does not mean it is not susceptible to improvement and direction. Superior governance of fantasy by means of the artist's voluntary will is an essential condition in the elaboration of the artwork. And this direction, from the outside so to speak, that the artist exercises over fantasy, is the aspect of creation most accessible to knowledge of aesthetics. artistic will. -- The movements of artistic creation can be schematically reduced to two fundamentals that are of opposite sign. In one case the goal pursued is approximation to a real model, as occurs in the artistic tendency called naturalism. In the other, on the contrary, the purpose is distanciation from nature and only to offer an idealization and stylization of it. The creation of the stylistic forms that represent the purest forms of art are only found in the latter direction. Opinions abound which consider this last tendency as the genuinely artistic one, yet it is necessary to first consider other aspects of the artistic activity for us to pronounce regarding this question. Now then, that to which artistic creation is oriented in once sense or another depends upon a factor that is found behind the entire process, as an a priori for creation which is artistic will. A doctrine expressed during the past century by Gottfried Semper and characterized by his critics as an aesthetic materialism, who maintained that creation was conditioned by three external factors: the useful purpose, the material and the technique. Without ignoring the influence that those factors exercise in creation, it can be said that they are not positive determinants, but more like external resistances which negatively limit the possibilities for development of the artistic creation. Precisely to oppose this aesthetic materialism, Alois Riegl, with great brilliance discovered the idea of artistic will. By artistic will one should understand the more or less deliberate intention or what the subject proposes to realize in her work. This concept overcomes the prejudice that artistic will is invariable and assumes, on the contrary, that it differs according to the peoples, the epochs, et cetera. In this manner the variability of artistic ideals, and in consequence historical styles, is explained. Thus valuations have no basis which attempt to affirm the superiority of one art over another. When, for instance, it is judge that the imperfections of a style derive from the impotence of the artists, it should be said, instead, that they did not move to make the work otherwise because they wanted it as is. It is concerned, then, with desiring and not with power. To judge the value of an individual work or of a style one must position himself within the context of what the subject tried to make, that is, within the context of their respective aesthetic ideal. Yet it must be said that this artistic will in turn is conditioned by something deeper than the feeling of the artist's individual existence. To use an expression of Nietzsche's, the artist affirms life or denies it depending on whether he is happy or unhappy with it. Naturalism would result from conformity and stylization from non-conformity with life. However, these facts so expressed in all their generality do not suffice to explain exactly what it is that art proposes in relation with these spiritual attitudes. Innumerable testimonies of the philosophers and of the artists have coincided in the answer. which for the moment seems satisfactory to me, and that I would qualify as a metaphysics of art. That which the artist seeks by means of art whether with naturalism or stylization is the apprehension of permanent and eternal values which, through representation, rescue things from their fugacity and temporality. I only wish to recall here some of Proust's words where the artist expresses the bliss of finding in his evocations a moment of eternity, an experience that thanks to memory makes him feel like an extra-temporal being, free from the anguish of mortality. Plato in the "Symposium" had revealed that what mankind wants to achieve when they create, whether through the flesh or through the spirit, is immortality. Worringer has observed that to each of these two attitudes of the artist, affirmation or negation of life, correspond two different processes, equally decisive in artistic creation: emotional projection and abstraction. Let us examine them now separately. emotional projection. -- The process of emotional projection (einfühlung) is not a specifically aesthetic psychic process, yet it has an outstanding application in the art in whose domain it was discovered. Sentimental projection is simply the consequence of our apperceptive activity. Every sensory object exists for me as the resultant of the sensory data and that of my apperceptive activity. In this context I am capable of introducing, for example, into the perception of a physical object, a feeling that does not correspond to its nature. I can feel the serenity of a wavy line, the grace of an arabesque, when in reality I project such sentiments into the figures unconsciously. It is this process that gives life and animation, in art, to inert objects; by it the phenomenon of anthropomorphism is explained. For Lipps, who has amply developed the theory, that to enjoy aesthetically consists in one enjoying the feeling of an object different from themself. Now then, this joy derives from the object being so constituted that it gives me the opportunity to exercise my own psychic activity. In this case the projection is, as Lipps says, positive, and the object is valued as beautiful. When on the contrary the object opposes a resistance to the free exercise of our activity the projection is called negative because is causes us a disagreeable impression and we judge that object as ugly. Lipps further distinguishes a simple projection, when we attribute to the object the qualities that it makes us feel, and a sympathetic projection, when the object's mode of being coincides with our emotion. It is indubitable, thus, that emotional projection is related to that phenomenon of sympathy which since Plotinus is considered as the road to perception of beauty. In this sense Greek philosophy is the precursor to the doctrine of emotional projection. Its development began with Romanticism, yet only received scientific status following philosophers like Lotze, F. Vischer, R. Vischer, Volket, Groos, Siebeck, and finally Lipps. The German word with which this phenomenon is designated was introduced by Robert Vischer in a text concerning the optical aspect of form. The notion is now almost common currency that the artist selects her object through an impulse of sympathy that resembles aesthetic intuition. Plotinus is the first who expresses this idea philosophically. "The beauty of bodies is something apparent at first glance; the soul already speaks of it as a known fact and when explicitly recognized is taken into itself and, in a sense, harmonized with it... We say, then, that the soul being by nature what it is, being very near to the Supreme Essence of being, thus anything that pertains to the same genre or has its line of parentage is transported in joy, brought towards it and then returned to itself and all of its own." Bergson, a modern philosopher who is not foreign to the ideas of Plotinus, writes these words: "The intention (of existence) is what the artist tries to re-apprehend by placing himself within the object via a sort of sympathy, and through an effort of intuition demolishing the barrier that space interposes between himself and his model. It is certain that this aesthetic intuition, just like external perception, is only performed by the individual." It is evident that when the artist recognizes the values of real life, they will incline through sympathy to take them as a model to glorify in art. Worringer, who deals principally with the plastic arts, refers emotional projection only to naturalism. Yet we believe that this relation is equally valid for other arts and other tendencies which even when they are not strictly naturalistic refer to a real model. It may be more convenient to denominate that direction with the name of realism, which is a word of more comprehensive meaning. Yet what it is also necessary to explain that emotional projection as manifested in realism does not pertain exclusively to that affinity or sympathy whose goal is the display of the artist's own spiritual activity. There is no doubt that there exists in this process one further intention. In the object that sympathetic intuition selects the artist sees the perfect individual realization of values which in other beings or similar acts do not attain the same perfection and are like inconclusive tests of nature. Otherwise, the glorification of real life in art follows a multitude of paths, which are not possible to traverse here, and which would be violence to try to reduce to a single principle of emotional projection. The defect in Lipps' doctrine, as an aesthetic theory, is among other things in that pretension to generalize for all art the intervention of the same process. Worringer, referring exclusively to the plastic brings to light the uselessness of Lipps' principle for explaining a considerable part of the history of art. And in order to correct that deficiency he proposes another theory which is that of abstraction. abstraction in art. -- When the artistic will attempts to distance itself from the real model, there emerges an art of abstract forms, more or less derived from the real forms. This process of abstraction is instinctive and has nothing to do with the process of the same name that operates in the field of rational logic. A typical example of this abstract art is found in the ornamental art of a geometric style, in architecture, in monumental art, as in the case of a pyramid. Yet I do not think that artistic abstraction is circumscribed to the plastic arts, for music and even poetry offer us perfect models of abstraction. In principle abstraction is a process that can occur in all the fine arts. Furthermore, though it is true that some artistic manifestations show us the tendency toward abstraction in a pure state, there is no doubt that in many of them it is not alone and, even when it is preponderant, the other tendency towards projection exists by its side. Worringer himself recognizes the possibility that both tendencies might combine, and admits that certain abstract forms can be the motive for emotional projection. But here we should consider the process of abstraction separately. The impulse towards abstraction is manifested through the creation of stylistic forms of expression that do not retain resemblance to the real forms. The forms of purely instrumental music make a model of abstraction of this art. The so-called "pure poetry," the modern painting that systematically deforms the natural figures, cubist painting, in summary, all artistic tendencies toward "idealization" or "stylization" obey the impulse to abstraction. To this impulse in the artistic work there would correspond a special type of beauty which is abstract beauty. Worringer makes this impulse depend, within the plastic arts, upon a feeling of fear before the confused and changing image of the phenomena of the external world. By means of abstraction one manages to apprehend and set in representation, certain absolute and permanent values that calms their restlessness and gives them a feeling of pleasure. The highest abstraction is represented by the pure geometric forms. Riegl compares them to the crystallization forms of inorganic material. He has expressed the suggestive idea that geometric style in art derives from a reminiscence of those crystallization forms that are conserved in the mind of mankind because of its philogenetic relations with the material world. Yet surely the impulse to abstraction is manifested in almost all moments in the history of art. It is principally that impulse, which has contributed to the creation of language exclusive of art, of which he have spoken with priority. The abstract character of its forms does not prevent expressing feelings full of vitality by means of them. The activity of the artist oscillates between two equally dangerous extremes, the approximation to reality or the distancing from it. Whether one prefers this or that, they should maintain the borders very clearly in consciousness, for if they are crossed it will end by negating the art in either of the two senses. If approximated too much, as for instance in a servile imitation, the art is confounded with the reality and dissolves in it. That is to say, it ceases being art. If on the contrary the impulse to abstraction is taken too far, until losing all contact with the real, the art is dehumanized and converted into something dead, lacking meaning. Artistic creation directed in either of the two manners toward realism or towards abstraction should maintain a point of equilibrium so that it can preserve the character which belongs to it. Even if art may be something different from life, in no way can it exist without the latter. artistic creation. -- The functions that have been described are the constitutive elements of the psychic complex which we have already introduced as the organ of artistic creation. In order to comprehend this phenomenon, the human intelligence has to artificially separate its parts, yet is afterwards impotent to reconstruct the total functioning of the process from these parts, because if so, creation could be explained mechanically. Then there would be strictly no creation, because the result would not be something new, but instead only the sum of the parts. Yet one could believe that the explanation would be possible following a contrary path, which is that of teleology. Under the influence of Plato and Aristotle it has been very frequent to represent the artist as one who conceives in advance the idea of their work and strives to realize it in a material way. The norm of the creation will be for some the idea of Beauty that floats in the consciousness of the artist. Or indeed the latter would have the capacity of prefiguring in their mind the finished image of the work, and would only have to copy it with their materials, just as the architect represents all the details of their work in plans and drawings. Yet the architect's plans and drawings are already the creation, and their material realization is the work of technology. The "idea" that artists are said to have before creation is in general an imperfect sketch which signals a very vague direction for the work and one that is always surpassed by it. This does not mean that the artistic creation lacks norms. What happens is that these laws or norms are immanent in the creation; they are laws and norms that are written nowhere, like the English constitution. There is thus a certain deformation of the facts in that aesthetic which derives from Kant and continues with the neo- Kantians when they speak of the existence of a normative consciousness in art. It must be said frankly that no such consciousness exists nor could exist. In different eras they have tried to formulate precepts for artistic work, but it has resisted being the product of recipes or of rules. Those rules are only found toward the end of the spiritual work of creation, in the transition from that to the technical phase of the work. The art of a musical composition, of versification, of painting in oil or "al fresco" has a set of rules that refers to an authority, yet in no way to the spiritual work of the creation. One must clearly distinguish, then, the spiritual activity of creation from the technical expressive process, among which that full harmony does not exist, assumed for example by Croce when he identifies intuition and expression. That is to say that the creative process instead of developing easily and without missteps, suffers a tension when it penetrates the expressive phase. "The gesture of form" is a struggle of the artist against the resistance of the expressive material from which it results that their labor is accompanied at times by the agonies of a delivery. Creation cannot be explained mechanically because then the work would be implicated in its parts as the effect of their antecedents. Nor can it be explained teleologically, for if the plan that precedes the work prefigures it in all its details, then it is already the work itself; and if it is a simple projection or sketch, then it explains nothing. Critical analysis of the artwork discovers that it is found to be structured in accordance with an internal logic, which causes its composition and unity to appear as a necessary connection. In other words, the authentic work of art gives us the impression that it could not have been otherwise and that the author's vision hit the exact point where its realization met the aesthetic value. The true artist has, then, something of the good archer who always puts the arrow on the target, with the aim that characterizes instinctive action. Yet since she follows that internal law that governs the creation it can only be found a posteriori through critical analysis of the work. taste. -- Finally, one of the norms of artistic creation is that estimative faculty, highly developed in the artist that we denominate as taste. Yet taste is an aspect of values that can never be formulated in precepts and definite norms. Susceptible to training and education, taste is formed through apprehension of concrete values as they are given in the masterpieces, in the great artistic models. Its formation requires, then, direct experience and knowledge of art history, and its application, difficult to describe phenomenologically, is realized by virtue of comparisons between concrete values, yet never by the logical procedure of putting a particular case under a general rule. Nor do there exist, then, in consciousness, general norms of taste. The self-critique of the artist is a function of taste that also operates from the outside, in artistic creation, as an instance which rectifies and purifies the uncertainties of the work in its first version. THE ARTISTIC PERSONALITY personality in general. -- It is difficult for the intellect to conceive in clear outlines the idea of personality, because this is not objectified in facts as palpable as the mere individuality of the human subject or their psychological character. Personality is an entity that emerges from the psycho- physical individual and which is imposed on her like a physiognomic ideal. Its appearance takes place in the occurrences of individual life, in certain peculiar traits of behavior that are harmonized to comprise a mobile structure, which momentarily decomposes and later returns clearly, always with the same singular tonality. When the personality is presented in an isolated act, the totality of the individual spirit peers through it. Personality expresses the manner by which this spirit coordinates and governs the multiplicity of the impulses. It assumes the intervention of a strong will that subordinates and ranks one's contradictory tendencies under the supreme control of spiritual values. The dynamic center of the personality embeds in the deep "I" and from there radiates to the highest sphere of values. In other words, personality only is possible when the "I" is identified with willed spiritual values, and therefore an ethical meaning belongs to its essence. It is nourished with all the juices of the individual, and the changing nuances that display the diverse personalities are the effect of the variety of individual composition. It also absorbs the influence of the social and cultural environment in which the individual acts, revealing itself then as a phenomenon with two faces, one facing the subject who sustains it and the other towards society. It is important to underline the social aspect of the personality to dispel the prejudice regarding its antithesis with collective life. For its development personality requires the environment of social life wherein it performs its function. A personality outside of society is inconceivable, like a personality in theatre is inconceivable without a public before which to play. For personality is not shown to the person who possesses it, but instead to those in the midst of whom it acts, and who are the only ones capable of perceiving and recognizing it. The subject itself is affected by a certain unconsciousness of the personality of which it is the depository. One only comes to know it when it is mirrored in the consciousness of their fellows. the artistic personality. -- After this rapid sketch where it would be impossible to embrace all the multiple aspects of the theme, yet essential for establishing some fundamental concepts, we approach the development of our particular problem, that of the artistic personality. The attempt to classify personalities into well differentiated types stumbles on the obstacle inherent in all rational efforts to include within generic categories that which in essence is singular. It is said, with Aristotle, that there is only science of the general and it cannot exist for the particular as such. It is true that personality is conceived as a general human phenomenon, yet it is always actualized in a different fashion in each individual, like a Proteus who assumes a thousand diverse forms, a new one for each particular case. An essential factor in the personality is an unlimited principle of individuation which appears logically to interfere with the attempt to encompass the particular cases within one general rule. Without purporting for now to enter in depth into this complicated epistemological question, it seems that the facts themselves suggest the distinction of certain personality types that our customary thought also confirms when it separates, for instance, the religious personality from the artistic, from the philosophical, et cetera. We deviate, then, from this classification established through use, given, of course, that there exists a personality type which corresponds to the artist. Strictly speaking we would have to consider as an artistic personality only that which is organized around an aesthetic sense of life. This means that in the experience of someone endowed with such a personality the values of beauty are in prominent relief. Beauty is the viewpoint that focuses all the realities which she perceives, and the remaining life values are subordinated to that supreme ideal. It deals, then, with a unilateral vision towards things, yet only by virtue of a limitation does that personality acquire character. The nucleus of the artistic personality is, then, that special attitude of the spirit, which does not exclude in certain cases the possibility of broadening it and understanding positions different from their own. Now then, actualization of the artistic personality is only fulfilled in the production of a work that, to the degree that it recovers the best essences of that personality, will be better achieved. The personal matrix of the artist will be projected objectively in their production giving it an unmistakable mark of agreement with Buffon's familiar comment that "the style is the man." Nevertheless, at this time we wish to fix our attention preferentially upon the person himself, or better said on the artist as man in general and not simply as the author of one's works. We shall only comprehend the artistic personality in an honest manner when we see in what form it is manifested in the conduct of the artist acting in fields of life different from art. artist's disinterest. -- In the artist one notes, of course, their lack of practical sense or disdain for the useful, which leads them, when they do not enjoy a favorable economic position, to that struggle with misery that can reach dramatic proportions, as in the lives of Beethoven and of Schubert. There is perhaps no artist who at some stage of their life has not passed through this experience, which however should not count among the factors adverse to their development, but instead much to the contrary, as a test to which life itself subjects the artistic vocation. The impetus of the vocation overcomes the adversity and endures the sacrifice, emerging from the struggle stronger and more certain of oneself; but if they succumb to it it is because such a vocation either did not truly exist or was too weak to engage in its interest all the power of the will. That practical incapacity of the artist is the reverse of their innate disinterest, by which the aesthetic vision of things is possible or, in summary, to be an artist. It seems, then, an inherent fatality of their nature, that lack of utilitarian sense which condemns them to march through real life like a somnambulist, like one "who is in the clouds" or like a child who must be protected. It is clear that the elevation of culture in modern societies is creating a greater number of favorable opportunities that save artists useless expenses in the struggle for existence. When the propagation of culture among the masses elevates the demand for artistic works in the form of books, paintings, concerts , theatrical presentations, et cetera, the artist, without straying from her work, also finds a way of earning a living, sometimes even with ease, when fame is attained. That trait of the artistic personality is not absolutely incompatible with the existence of other capacities, including practical capability. It should be kept in mind that personality, despite being based upon the psycho-physical character of the individual, is partially conditioned by it. Personality is framed in character and cannot defy it; it is this, on the character, that imprints her seal of individuality. That which creates personality is to arrange those elements of character, giving each the place and level it deserves in order to safely maintain its fundamental direction. The artist can exercise her practical capacities, but isolating and directing them such that they do not harm and diminish the development of her original vocation. An ideal type can be phenomenologically conceived that represents the pure essence of the artistic personality, the artist who only lives as an artist. Yet practically the artist is a person who will be solicited, more or less imperiously, by all the human interests. It can even be affirmed that a broad human life favors the formation of a great and strong artistic personality, instead of disturbing it. The artist who could live only as an artist would be a diminished artist. Such might be the case with those average talents who throughout history only play the part of epigones and share the legacy of the great masters. On the other hand, the artist who is not alien to any human interest and who accedes to the attractions of all, without losing supreme control of the spirit, acquires an experience of life and receives constant excitations that vigorously motivate their personality and their creative labor. The tensions of life, its happinesses and its pains, the success and the failure, the desire, the passion are experiences that approached with the profound sensibility of the artist move the soul and contribute powerfully to its spiritual formation. The artist lives principally through feelings, highlighting more the subjective side of his reactions, because his interior life is more intense than in other men. The formation of the artist is never complete nor definitive, for personality, as Rodó says, is forged by the anvil throughout all of life. Its original coloration is predetermined by the multiple modalities of the psycho-physical character, which constitutes the raw material that the will must manage and lead. Everything depends upon the singular physiognomy of each personality, from the somatic type to the psychological type. It is not indifferent for personality whether the artist is fat or thin, healthy or sick, whether she belongs to one or another of the types described by Kreschmer or Jung's psychological types. artist and bourgeois. -- The repugnance which the artistic personality feels for useful work is expressed symbolically in the fact that the modern artist has become the bourgeois in antithesis or counterpoint. In the mouth of the artist the word bourgeois carries a derogatory meaning: it is the prototype of artistic incomprehension, of bad taste, of vulgarity and grossness. The bourgeois is the nouveau riche who pursues a false art, full of superficiality and tawdriness; loyal to their economic point of view, the work which is expensive impressing them more than that of aesthetic worth. The true artist attributes the origin of false art to bourgeois bad taste, in that commonplace of their dialect which they use when they want to condemn a work; thus, they say it is "pour épater les bourgeois." That many artists have joined with socialism is due to this hostility against the bourgeoisie considering that they unite with the proletariat against a common enemy. The great poet Mayakowsky once explained that he had not come to the revolution through the political circles, but instead "had encountered it," following his own path, the path that came through the literary circles. artist and the masses. -- There is, however, in the artist a tendency to separate herself from the vulgar and the crowd, originating in her sense of the beautiful which is a taste for the select and the distinguished. In their deepest being one must feel in disaccord with the mass-man for his lack of comprehension of the beautiful and the consequent underestimation of art. It is, then, natural that the artists tend to form elites within social life and each one inclines in the personal to a certain aristocracy of spirit, more or less refined. Through human sympathy or through a moral or political principle the artist can approach the masses. In modern life the artist can be seen before the problem posed by socialism, the "rebellion of the masses." He feels he can no longer remain encapsulated in his isolation and that the new circumstances impose upon him a duty to the community. As a person, the artist affiliates for diverse motives either in the parties of the left or in those of the right. Numerous contemporary artists sympathize or agitate in socialist groups of the most varied stripes. But the artist as an artist remains separate from the masses. This affirmation retains its validity even keeping in mind that the contemporary artist has moved towards the popular and there seeks themes and inspirations for the renovation of art. We live in the flowering of "artistic nationalism, yet the masterworks of this genre reveal to us a process of alienation by which the concrete, local and picturesque of folklore passes into the abstract forms of a refined art. The results of that process, which starts in popular ground, are already inaccessible to the masses. In truth this process is not exclusive to our time, but common to all the great epochs of art. The trajectory of its unfolding always goes from bottom to top, like the plants that sink their roots in the ground and later rise to display their flowers in their highest branches. This put in scientific technicalities signifies that the artist is conditioned by the physical and social environment in which she forms, yet it goes beyond this. The reproaches of socialism about art, because it is individualistic, are meaningless, because art in all times is always determined by the totality of the social circumstances in which it flourishes. What socialism has done is to attempt to make conscious by means of programs, decrees, slogans, et cetera, a process that can only be produced unconsciously. The artist by being himself, allowing his artistic will to act freely, also obeys, unknowingly, the will of his people and his time. If one follows the other road they only come to denaturalize art, converting it into artifice. This justly poses the problem of whether the artistic personality is compatible with the subordination of the artist to a system that dictates the directions of her work. artist's freedom. -- As we have described the creative activity of the artist, it turns out that its expression cannot be realized except in an environment of freedom, which is, consequently, an imperative condition for the existence of the artistic personality. Even voluntary renunciation of liberty cannot be done with impairment in the formation and expression of that personality. For it is so that all life of the spirit is essentially freedom, even when that does not exclude the action of certain regulatory laws. Now then, the personality's formative processes do not obey any conscious norm; thus rules or precepts on acquiring a personality do not exist. The only rule is that the individual act in complete freedom and try to be themself. In the case of the artistic personality the requirement of freedom is even more radical. The artist feels impelled to fight against all foreign suggestion that might deform its original physiognomy. From this attitude originates the impression of individualism that the artist's conduct gives. The conquest of freedom and the conquest of one's own personality are, at root, the content of a single impulse. Not only in the work of art, but also in the social life of the artist that battle for liberty and individuality are expressed. The attire, at times extravagant, that comprises the pose of the artists, the unconcern in their customs such as are manifested in "la Bohòme," are externals that sometimes mask false artists. Yet, undoubtedly, in their origin those picturesque ways of life were an expression of the urgent need of conquering an atmosphere of freedom for the unfolding of the individual as artist. In those external acts of a social nature one sees a spirit of rebellion against the imposition of established norms, which when it is spontaneous and not simulated, is the struggle for the independence necessary for the creative labor. We do not pretend to assume with this interpretation that it be essential for being an artist to convert oneself into a savage who breaks with all the molds of civilized life. Better that this attitude should be cataloged as an historical occurrence, linked to the spirit of Romanticism, and which today tends to disappear with the passing of that spirit. Now the contemporary artist seeks independence by other paths and is not concerned to distinguish himself socially with empty eccentricities. In his external appearance he seems like the mass-man, and what matters to him is to conquer originality in the spirit and in the work. artist and politics. -- Discussion has occurred, naturally, regarding the relations of the artist with politics. History displays eras, like the Renaissance, in which the artistic personality flourishes in the midst of the tyranny which ruled in the small Italian republics, or in the atmosphere of "enlightened" despotism that begins, in the 17th century, to govern the modern nationalities. The explanation of this phenomenon lies precisely in that that "enlightened" tendency imposed a limit on politics and held it to the values of the spirit and the culture. It is unnecessary to expound here how the contemporary dictatorships, through their "totalitarian" expansion, have surpassed that limit, invading the field of spirit and culture to make them into a political instrument. The artist is thus seen stripped of her personality, and reduced to the role of any member of a party who works under a slogan; her work has to shed some aesthetic values in order to serve as propaganda. Since these facts are known throughout the world, it is not necessary to insist upon the radical antagonism between the artist and such political regimes, which contain in essence the principle destructive of all human personality. There is no reason to repeat that without spontaneity and freedom all artistic creation is impossible, as is in general the manifestation of the higher values of the spirit. the artist and love. -- When Eduard Spranger describes the characteristic notes of the "homo Aestheticus," he makes the statement, "all unmistakable aesthetics is unmistakably erotic." He would express here a constant relation between the artistic disposition and love, yet not precisely physical love, but instead love in its spiritualized form. Already in Plato's philosophy this connection between art and love can be discovered. When in the Banquet love is mentioned as the vehicle for ascending from sensory beauty to the pure idea of beauty, the character of that relation is explained. The lover and the artist will coincide, then, in their common aspiration for beauty, or according to the correction that Socrates offers his interlocutor, in their desire to immortalize themselves "in" the beauty, the lover in the flesh and the poet in the spirit. Elsewhere we have attributed to artistic creation the enthusiasm for immortality and have explained in what it consists. Meanwhile, we might adduce in support of Spranger's idea the role that amorous experience has played with artists as a source of creative inspiration, sometimes as a powerful internal impulse, others directly as a theme of the artwork. For Freud and his school art would constitute a derivation of the repressed sexual instinct, which can be sublimated into a creative fantasy. Nevertheless, the same psychological doctrine reveals how eroticism is a general characteristic of human nature. The most plausible explanation of the relation between the erotic and the aesthetic is found in the fact that art with its emotional root provides a natural channel of expression for love, not given by other human activities. Not only poets fall in love, but they are the only ones capable of transforming the amorous disposition into a poetic disposition. And the easy transformation from the one to the other is due also to their common ideal of beauty as defined by Plato. Yet the frequency of the relation between the artistic and the erotic is only a contingent relationship. One should remember here that numerous artists separate art from love in their spirit, and also many completely different works of art are found, so we do not give the term erotic except to the impulse born of eroticism. Art brings with it its own impulse, which is sufficient unto itself. art and religion. -- A lineage unites, above all in their most remote origins, art and religion. In the medieval arts the religious sentiment and artistic feeling are merged into one. In the modern artist the two activities are clearly separated one from another, as a result of the separation of profane art and religious art. In the lay artist, the art becomes a devotion that completely fills their spirit, until constituting a religion for them. There is a poetical intuition of the world which produces in the spirit effects equivalent to the religious intuition of the world and that has many points of contact with it. The parallelism has been noted that exists between transcendentalism in religion and abstract art on the one hand, and between naturalism and pantheism on the other. This parallelism yields a functional identity between art and religion that allows them to be defined in the same way. So, for example, Schmarsow's saying that "religion is a reconciliation between humanity and nature" applies equally to art. * * * The most impoverished personality is that of the artist who solely interests herself in art like any specialist. Certainly each of the fine arts corresponds to a special vocation that for its full development requires, at times, an entire lifetime. It is evident that even the artistic genius represents one of the forms of specialization of the human spirit. Yet precisely this genius not only excludes, but also demands for its perfecting a broad vision of the world acquired from experience and culture. This is to say that the great artistic personality is, above all, a thoroughgoing example of humanity, yet who is organized and unified in turn by an aesthetic sense of life. artistic personality types. -- Within the infinite variety of artistic personalities, groups have been differentiated who possess similar traits, forming general types with those who are included at the same time, poets, musicians, painters, etc. These types of artists are determined by a profound and radical fact which is the relation that the individual encounters with life. Not only the personality type, but also the mode of conceiving art and the style, derive from the manner in which the artist experiences life in her deepest being. There exists, then, a parallelism between intuition about life, on the one hand, and on the other personality, the conception of art and the style. The problem of tracing a characterology of artists is not yet resolved in contemporary aesthetics. For our part, we do not pretend to fill that gap here, but only to propose some paths for the formation of that characterology, assisted by the outlines that appear in past aesthetics. The relation between the meaning of life and personality is shown very clearly in the division Schiller makes among artist between naive and sentimental poets. The naive poet is one whose humanity is fully identified with nature and within the individual herself their feelings are harmonized with their thought: "While humanity is still pure nature--not barbaric, it is clear--one works as an indivisible sensory unity and as a whole in harmony. The senses and reason, the receptive and active faculties, still have not begun to separate in their tasks, much less to oppose each other. Their sensations are not a plaything (without form) of chance, nor are their thoughts playthings (without content) of the imagination; these proceed from the law of necessity, that of reality." The example of the naive poet is found among the Greeks. "If one recalls the beautiful landscape that surrounded the ancient Greeks; if one thinks in what intimacy with free nature the people lived beneath their happy sky and how much closer to simplicity were their representations, their sentiments, their customs, and with what fidelity these are reflected in poetical works, it is easy to notice that they offer very few traces of that sentimental interest with which we moderns approach natural scenes and characters." The naive poet is not foreign to nature, lives full of sympathy for and comprehension of it such that in her representations it is faithfully reflected with a feeling of harmony. Yet this unity of man with his world is broken, according to Schiller, by the "culture state." Nature separates from mankind and becomes alien to it. The modern poet continues to love nature, but experiences it as something distant, as a "lost paradise." Then the sentimental poet appears. "The harmony between his being and his thought, which in the first state were really fulfilled, now only exist ideally; he is no longer in it, but outside of it; as a thought to be realized, not as an already positive fact of life. Now then, if one applies the concept of poetry to one or another state, it is nothing but giving humanity its most complete expression, resulting that there, in the state of natural simplicity in which man still works with all his strength, is at once harmonic unity; in which, accordingly, the totality of his nature is fully expressed in reality, and what the poet makes should be imitation, in the most finished form possible, of the reality; while here in the culture state, in which harmonious collaboration of his entire nature is nothing more than an idea, and what moves the poet must be to elevate reality to the ideal, or in other words, the representation of the ideal. And it is precisely these two unique forms that can externalize the poetic genius. They are, as we see, extremely diverse; yet there is a higher concept that embraces both and not surprisingly that concept coincides with the idea of humanity." In this contraposition of the naive and the sentimental poet, Schiller does not refer exclusively to the ancient and the modern poets, but instead gives value too to the poets of his time admitting that among them both types can be found. These types correspond to what Schiller himself calls the realist and the idealist poet, which in turn coincide at least more or less with the two great categories of artistic style, the classical and the romantic. The Romantic poet enters into disagreement with civilized life and laments the alienation of nature. Thus they aspire to return to it and idealize it in their representations. Whereas the classical artist is in full conformity and harmony with life, while in the Romantic a deep dualism emerges between life as it is and as one wishes it were. The former happily delivers herself to real objects and is pleased to represent their forms. The second suffers from reality and tries to flee from it to take refuge in his ideal. This does not strictly mean that the Romantic artist is an enemy of life, for on the contrary he seems to experience a great craving to live. It may be more exact to explain that if the Romantic flees from real life, it is because he does not consider it as true living. For him living would mean to attain the ideal, yet since that is not possible to be content with realizing it poetically. What then occurs is that the Romantic artist has a different conception of life from what is generally given as such. For mankind there fundamentally exists two possible attitudes towards life, which consist, as Nietzsche has expressed it, in accepting its values or in negating them. It concerns then, not an intellectual conception, but one supportive of life. So then, the artist who recognizes her values in it will tend to seek among them for the object of her work and therefore be a realist, although not in the sense of servile imitations of her model. In the contrary case when the artist denies his real values, he will tend to separate from life replacing its imperfection with values created by his fantasy. Then the art will appear as a paradigm or archetype of that which life should have been or at least as the artist wishes it were. Such a type of artist represents a disposition of spirit similar to that which inspires Platonism. These two modes of experiencing life derive, as already indicated with Schiller, from a different internal constitution of spirit, which would be in one case the harmony between feeling and the intellect and in the other their contraposition. The first constitution of the spirit is accompanied, as is natural, by the serenity and happiness that are expressed in all classical art. In the second worry appears, conflict, the more or less painful tension that characterizes the Romantic spirit. In this clearly emerges the tragic sense of life. Around these two fundamental motives a multitude of diverse personalities can be formed, which is explained by the diversity of objects that comprises the "world" of each artist. The two types defined by Schiller will correspond psychologically with the types that Jung denominates introverted and extroverted. The naive or realist poet is subject to the imperative of the object, their perception being extroverted, while one sentimental or idealistic abstracts from the object in order to concentrate upon their reflections and attend to the products of their imagination; she is, therefore, an introverted intuitive. This correspondence, noticed by himself, will corroborate the affirmation that psychological character antedates the situation in which the artistic personality must develop. Introversion or extroversion are psychic modalities that affect everyone, yet which in artists is expressed as a disposition of spirit that tends toward idealism or towards realism in art. The most important of the discoveries that are made after Schiller, upon the same question of artistic types, is that proposed by Nietzsche in his Birth of Tragedy, with the names of "Apollonian spirit" and "Dionysian spirit." "We would take a large step--he says--in what refers to the science of aesthetics if we were to arrive not only at logical induction, but instead to the immediate certainty of this thought; that the progressive evolution of art is the result of the "Apollonian spirit" and the "Dionysian spirit" in the same manner that the duality of the sexes engenders life in the midst of perpetual fights and simply by periodic approximations. This aesthetic duality will be incarnated in two distinct human types: the plastic and the epic artist who suggest and represent the "Apollonian spirit," while the lyrical and the musical will be animated by the "Dionysian spirit." The Apollonian artist sinks into contemplation of the images and his work is born from the dream. "Apollo, being the god of all the creative faculties of forms is, at the same time, the prophetic god. He, since his origin, is the radiant 'apparition,' the divinity of the light; he reigns also over the appearance full of beauty of the interior world of the imagination. The highest truth, the perfection of these states opposed to everyday imperfectly intelligible reality, and finally the profound consciousness of the healing and healthy nature of sleep and the dream, are symbolically the analogy, at once of the aptitude for prophecy and for the arts in general, by which life is made possible and worthy of being lived." Meanwhile the Dionysian state is understood by analogy with drunkenness. "Worship of the power of the narcotic potion which all men and all primitive peoples have celebrated in their hymns, or even for the despotic force of the primeval regrowth which luxuriantly penetrates all of nature, awakens that Dionysian exaltation that with all its might totally overruns the subjective individual, until submerging him in complete forgetfulness of himself." When this impulse of nature penetrates an artist, a ballerina, lyrical poet, or musician is born. The contraposition of the two spirits is symbolized in Homer and Archilochus. "Homer, the old dreamer lost in his thoughts, the naive type of artist, Apollonian, contemplates with surprise the impassioned face of the war-like servant of the muses, Archilochus, who thrusts through life, fierce and high- spirited. The tragic artist is considered by Nietzsche as a synthesis of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The plastic vision of the drama comes to be an Apollonian expression that results from a musical state. The types indicated by Nietzsche do not represent like those of Schiller diverse spiritual attitudes that can manifest themselves within all the arts, but human impulses which, by requiring different mediums of expression, can only take place in a specific art. Nietzsche's theory concerning those artistic impulses came to explain the radical separation which Schopenhauer had traced between music and the other arts. It is patent that where one of those impulses predominates over the other there must emerge not only an artistic style, but also a genre of art specific to the corresponding artist. This not withstanding, the two impulses can mingle according to the thought of Nietzsche himself, like the two sexes, to engender a new type of art and artist. Such will be the case with tragedy. For Worringer to explain the essence of certain artistic styles he refers them to various "types of humanity," in whose features the artists themselves participate. Those types are, the primitive, the classical and the oriental. They emerge from the special feeling they experience in their relations with the cosmos. The primitive, far from being someone in harmony with nature, feel in contraposition to her, threatened by capricious forces that seem to change it completely into a work of chance. Precisely what frightens him is that in his image of the world he not encounter a regular order which presides over phenomena, and within which he can feel reassured about his existence. "In the principle of evolution there is an absolute dualism between mankind and the world, a dualism that no experience mitigates. Confused by the capriciousness and disconnections of phenomena, the primitive man lives in obscure spiritual terror of the outside world." "Given, then, this relationship of terror in which the primitive man lives before the world of phenomena, there rises in his breast like the most powerful spiritual and psychic requirement, the aspiration towards necessary values that save him from the chaotic caprice in which the impressions of the spirit and of vision occur." Art for the primitive is presented as an instrument for salvation from cosmic terror. "To create art signifies for the primitive to elude life and its capriciousness, to set something permanent in the intuition that transcends the phenomena and in which the capriciousness and the mutability of the phenomena remain suppressed." Thus, the primitive artist driven by the need for salvation creates a world of abstract forms in which she asserts certain necessary and permanent values in order to re-establish the security of her existence. The feeling of terror does not disappear completely in civilized man, who preserves it as an obscure memory. It follows that abstract art is not exclusive to primitive man and may emerge in the culture's most advanced moments, as in the contemporary epoch. Next comes the classical man "who is situated at a point of equilibrium between instinct and the intellect. "With classical man the absolute dualism between mankind and the world is extinguished." "In the classical periods of human evolution, art is effectively a luxury product, a beautiful and solemn creation. The classical now does not know the suffering which the relativity and obscurity of the universe produces with its various phenomena: the classical man is now unfamiliar with the anguished martyrdom of the primitive." "To create artistically means for her to fix in intuitions that ideal process by which her own sense of life fuses with the living world which surrounds her." "All artistic representation is transformed, then, into an apotheosis of that vital elemental feeling that has become conscious." "The feeling has awakened of the beauty of the living, the fortunate rhythm of the organic." The oriental man remains for last who to the intellectualism of the man of the west opposes his "instinctive knowledge." The oriental culture is based upon instinct, yet one of this culture is totally different from the primitive. "Before the veil of Maya the primitive remained terrified. By contrast, the oriental has penetrated behind that veil and her eyes have perceived the inflexible dualism of all being. Her wisdom, rooted in instinct, knows the uncertainty of all phenomena and the imponderable enigma of all reality." In the primitive the dualism is prior to knowledge whereas in the oriental it is higher than knowledge. "It neither perturbs nor torments her. The oriental perceives dualism as a sublime fate, and with neither words nor desire bends before the great indescribable enigma of being." "Oriental art gives an identical reply to the same tension. It too has an absolute character of salvation; its rigorous sense of abstract transcendentalism is far from the classical. In it there is no fecund affirmation of sensual vitality; oriental art belongs to another realm, where above the transitoriness and accident of the living, it aspires to a superior world, without deception of the senses, without illusions of the intuition, a necessary and lasting world, consecrated by the immense peace of oriental wisdom." We have here, then, a series of reactions of the spirit before diverse feelings about life that are, certainly, valuable data for tracing the varied typical physiognomies which the artists can assume. It is assumed that all these reactions can occur among those who belong to our time and to our culture. Yet it should also be added that perhaps such data do not exhaust the possible reactions of the artist regarding his vital sentiment. It is not an easy task to establish in a precise fashion the generic types of artists, keeping in mind above all the great mobility of individual features. Furthermore, the types always represent somewhat artificial schemes where it is not possible to adjust the endless richness to the human reality. The investigation of typical personalities should be made in conjunction with culture types and in particular with stylistic forms. Yet it is necessary to derive the types from study and comparison of the life of the artists, such as shown in the biographies and autobiographies, so that they can represent true types of the real. Only thus can a valid characterology of the artists be obtained. It does not fit to include the simple spectator or dilettante in this consideration, for the more knowing and effective the art is, they belong in general to very diverse activities and professions and thus lack one artistic personality. Only the creative artist, in the first place, can have an artistic personality and later the interpreter and even the critic of art, above all when their activity becomes a profession. THE SPECTATOR Art has, among other goals, a social function to perform. From the urgency to create felt by the artist comes, as a powerful factor, the need for communication with others, the deliberate purpose of influencing other spirits through the artwork's action. Art for the artist is never a monologue, but instead a dialogue sustained with a real or imaginary spectator and thus, this last constitutes an essential and indispensable piece in the movement of an artistic life. Without the perspective of a spectator who becomes interested in and receives the produced work in a comprehensive manner, the artist would find her urgency to create weakened. Among the motives that act in the artist's mind is always present, with more or less awareness, the idea of the reactions that her work are going to provoke in the public. To the extent that the artist becomes more well known, he engages, so to speak, in a dialogue between himself and his public. The commentary, the critique, applause are the reactions of the public almost always influential in the spirit of the artist, to stimulate them and also orient and correct the advancement of their production. The true artist always creates for the spectator who is not a professional artist, yet who has a taste for art and the capacity to understand it. As much as one esteems the opinion of other artists, it would be an error to create exclusively for them, because it would cause their art to fall into the esoteric and confine it to the rarefied atmosphere of the salon. The public is the true recipient, charged with bringing the art to life and of perpetuating it once the artist is gone. The sympathetic relation between the artist and their public is permanent, except in certain moments when it creates new values that collide with tradition and routine. Because the public, in general, evolves in its tastes more slowly than the artists, thus even the most intelligent and informed spectators are prone to succumb to the collective suggestions. The masses together tend toward stability and are more difficult to move than isolated individuals. Therefore artistic innovations penetrate the public slowly and only tardily achieve general recognition. In any case when, over time, the public reaches the elevation of the new art, it re-establishes, though tardily, the sympathetic contact between the spectator and the artist. These considerations demonstrate that the life of art is not indifferent to the existence or non-existence of spectators and that, accordingly, these are entities which participate and collaborate in the life of the art. The spectator whom we are going to consider here is not the curious transient who occasionally approaches the work of art. It concerns, on the contrary, one who consecrates part of their life to attend with love and devotion to a special art. Only the individual who possesses certain original disposition and who has cultivated them through experience and disciplined study can come to be a true spectator of art. Comprehension of art cannot be reduced to the mere passive reception of aesthetic impressions. In each particular work the aesthetic meaning is open to discovery, yet is almost always hidden and even comes to be clothed in mystery. The spectator should interpret and at times decipher that hidden meaning of the artwork, which of course requires her to exert an effort at comprehension. Yet before situating ourselves at the center of artistic contemplation let us observe certain preceding attitudes that are conditions for the former to be realized. Naturally aesthetic contemplation, like any other higher activity of the spirit, demands certain favorable external circumstances in order to be realized; yet we shall not concern ourselves with them here, but instead with certain internal conditions in the contemplating subject. It is not possible to devote ourselves to contemplation if one does not possess a power of abstraction that permits them, though it be momentarily, to disengage from the interests of life. Only by abstracting from it can the individual apply sustained attention to contemplation of the work, which cannot be consummated without attentive consideration of the object. An attention, we might say, that is almost a complete concentration of consciousness upon the achievement of an objective. Of music it has been said, precisely for the concentration required of the listener, that it is "the art of attention." Yet in fact all the arts require a similar attentional effort. Considering now the act itself of aesthetic comprehension, we repeat that this demands active participation of the spectator with the external object which provides the impressions. The isolated individual spectator is more suited for the collaboration than when he forms part of a mass of spectators. The publics of the theatre or of concerts are, in general, lazy and inert and only react favorably before an easily accessible work. The works with immediate success are those that impose upon the public the least mental work. All the reactions that are produced in the spectator contribute to the interpretation or comprehension of the artwork. Such reactions are of the most varied nature. Consider the accumulation of subjective resonances that give rise to the aesthetic impression: thoughts, memories, emotion, desires, etc. Fechner believes that this associative factor is one of the essential parts to the contemplation, that which enriches and gives flavor to the aesthetic pleasure. It is indubitable that these subjective resonances represent the individual expressive reaction of the spectator provoked by the aesthetic impression, and this expression comprises, at least in part, the phenomenon that Aristotle designated with the name, Katarsis. In another sense these subjective reactions are the display of activities by the subject which Lipps places at the root of "emotional projection." Aesthetic pleasure would be the feeling of this activity which the nature of the object allows to develop freely, giving the illusion that such activity emanates from it. Psychological experience confirms that all these elements are found as contents of the spectator of art's consciousness. Yet reflection that analyzes this experience reveals that this entire complex of subjective resonances, including pleasure, do not constitute the center of aesthetic interest and the attention of the spectator. On the contrary, the vector of this aesthetic experience is projected outwards in the direction of the object that constitutes the true focus of the contemplation. The theme of the contemplation is the intuition into the aesthetic values of the object, without paying attention to its subjective effects. These, as we know, are of very varied quality and intensity according to the individual, while the values of a particular work always comprise the same. THE INTERPRETER There exist, as is well know, various genres of art that are distinguished from the rest because the works belonging to them, once created, must pass through interpretation in order to acquire full actuality. It is the case in theatre and with music whose works only achieve a fleeting realization when they are represented or executed by suitable interpreters. Such artistic types impose, then, the necessity that there exist men especially destined for the interpretive function, and who are called artists, despite that they do not join in the production of new works. Do the interpreters, as artistic subjects, possess some peculiar modality worthy of being mentioned? For now, skip to the viewpoint that the artistic activity of the interpreters should remain confined within certain limits traced by the spirit of the work to be interpreted itself. In this sense, it can be affirmed that the interpreter is not an automaton, given that she must submit to the designs of the author expressed in his work. The interpreter can be a creator, and thus confirm the fact that many theatre actors, many musicians, have conquered a reputation for genius within the art that they cultivate; that is to say, the art of interpretation permits the unfolding of a certain creative spirit. Yet it is evident that such creation is not free, because everything is prescribed in the original text: theme, direction and scope which its development should take. If the interpreter abandons this norm of fidelity, ceding to the attraction of free creation, she misreads the meaning of the work that the author places in her hands. What is done in this case is to use the suggestion of this work as a pretext for attempting the production of another work completely foreign to the mind of the original artist. The problem of what the interpreter and the interpretation should be is principally posed in regard to music. It happens that music utilizes a notation which, however detailed it may be, is always a set of conventional symbols, insufficient for the music to communicate by means of them the concrete form in which the composition has been conceived. However, modern mechanical technique offers musicians the system of recording, which will permit them to establish the concrete idea integral to their works, interpreting them personally or directing their execution. This recorded music will be of incalculable value for posterity, which cannot revert to the testimony of the living author herself. A very different situation is that which prevails today with respect to the musicians of the past, for they could not bequeath their interpretive will in an unequivocal manner, except through a tradition founded by the contemporaries of the author, which has been directly transmitted from masters to disciples over various generations. This is what occurs with regard to the music of Bach, of Mozart, of Beethoven, et cetera, whose authentic interpretive version is only possessed by the musicians who have obtained it from the living sources of the masters who are depositories of this tradition. In our time, the criterion has been affirmed that the interpretation of past music should not be left to the chance intuition of an interpreter whom the best artistic and technical endowment does not empower to guess how a specific author should be handled. Interpretation is a special art that should be studied with its most authoritative cultivators, who on the old continent have established schools devoted exclusively to that object. As plausible examples of this enterprise can be cited the pianist Cortot's school for the interpretation of Chopin and above all the exemplary Wanda Landowska, who with apostolic zeal dedicated her life to restoring interpretations of the harpsichordists, herself becoming a great keyboardist and founding a school to transmit her exquisite and rare wisdom. This appears to contradict the Platonic thesis maintained in the Ion, that the rhapsode or interpreter of a poet proceeds neither through technique nor through science, but instead by virtue of inspiration, divine grace, which the Greek philosopher describes as an unconscious state wherein the subject seems to be possessed by a spirit foreign to their own. The interpreter is a link in this chain constituted by the Muses, the poet and the spectator, in a manner similar to a magnetic stone that communicates its properties to the iron objects which are attracted to it. The actual situation, very different from what motivated Plato's meditations, is that of a humanity which carries behind it a long tradition full of complex and varied productions of art. Furthermore, our historical consciousness is, without doubt, more awakened than that possessed by the Greeks, and demands from the interpreter a faithful reconstruction of the past which solely can be attained through complete information. Today we possess a very clear sense of the differences that exist between our era and all the foregoing, as we likewise possess the notion of profound national differences. The publics of today demand that in the theatre, the atmosphere and the characters are represented with historical correctness, that all plastic and dramatic interpretation be adjusted to the local currents, customs and psychology of the age. In music they tend to rediscover the style of interpretation of each historical moment and even to execute the music with the historic instruments for which they were written. Such is the case cited above of Wanda Landowska with respect to the harpsichordists. All this historical science and information would be ineffective if the interpreter did not possess the necessary inspiration to infuse a breath of life into the artistic reconstruction, and derive an aesthetic unity from the previously gathered material; in this sense, Plato's thesis continues being true. Science and technique do not exclude inspiration, but indeed serve to prepare and direct it in a determinate direction which it would not take were it abandoned to the caprice of one's impulses. They are conscious procedures that tend to establish a concrete route and destinations for the unconscious movement of inspiration. It is not easy to describe what could be called the ideal interpreter, because the nature of their intervention is different in the diverse arts. In the theatre, for instance, the interpreter and the expressive material are merged. It is the human action of the language itself of dramatic art that can only be incarnated by the physical and psychic being of a person. In dance, says Nietzsche, the ballerina becomes the work of art, but the same could be said of all theatre actors. In that which concerns music, the function of the interpreter is otherwise. Here the interpreter produces the work of art without confusing herself with it and becomes a mere intermediary for the public. The ideal interpreter of music is she who does not abandon her own personality so as to penetrate the realm of the work, so as to permit her to present it with its authentic traits. It is the interpreter who becomes transparent and disappears from the spectator's eyes to leave him directly in the presence of the original work. THE CRITIC Among the most well differentiated subjects of art, in the advanced phases of a culture, is art criticism. It is the expression of a certain maturity of the general artistic consciousness and accordingly does not appear or only presents itself sporadically in very young cultures. The critic of art has its origin in the development of a reflexive spirit that is not satisfied with experiencing the art, but also aspires to rationally comprehend the meaning of each artistic work. This sense of an enigma, not easily accessible to the ordinary spectator, is what the critic proposes to interpret and explicate in his writings. In every spectator there is a critic when they form opinions or judgments upon a work; it is also art criticism when the artist judges her own production or that of other artist, which is why criticism is a general activity in all subjects that intervene somehow in the art. Yet the critique only attains its perfection when it fulfills a specialized function within the artistic life and acquires a literary expression. Then it is a complex labor which must bring completion to multiple goals. In the first place, it has to make a discrimination between the truly artistic works and those that are not; in the second place, it should define the artistic values in their characteristic individuality and establish their relative reach within a version of the production at one moment or that of an epoch. Questions intimately connected with these are the determination of the social and historical meaning a work has and its situation within the general evolution of the art. These indissoluble correlations have led Croce to think that the criticism and the history of the art are identical. Inasmuch as it is not possible to have history without evaluating the material that it elaborates, the historian of art is necessarily a critic, only that this critique refers by preference to the past tense. By contrast, the art critic has to make use of the history to comprehend and evaluate the new work, and is also an historian when she comes to discover the corresponding historical meaning in it. The difference between critic and art historian would be only a difference of accentuation in their activities. The critic would highlight more the artistic valuation related to works in the present, and to keep the historical reference on a secondary plane, whereas in the historian, as is natural, the historical aspect is in the greatest relief and evaluation appears only as a means to achieve the ends proper to history. For the fulfillment of her mission, the critic should unite a certain number of capabilities that put her very much ahead of the simple spectator. It is obvious that without a true artistic temperament all the knowledge and culture of the critic will be useless and her judgments will lack value. Yet as opposed to the spectator, the critic must possess experience and a knowledge of art which allows her to judge it, to make her values clear and perform an interpretation of its meaning adjusting for the objective conditions of the work to not fall into arbitrary affirmations. It is assumed that the critic possesses a vigilant consciousness of himself in order to distinguish in his aesthetic reactions, that which depends on subjective personal conditions and that which is truly perception of the qualities of the object analyzed. Criticism can only have validity and authority when it is performed with complete equanimity and its judgments are objectively formulated. Like any spectator, the critic experiences the immediate aesthetic impression in a total fashion, enjoying the values of the object in their qualitative unity. At a later reflective moment, his fine perception analyzes the elements of the work, determines its merits and proceeds to judge them. All the operations of the critique are realized in light of information and experience with art in general. One of the considerations that frequently escapes the mere spectator is that which refers to the technique of the work. The specialized critic cannot ignore this fundamental aspect, which is always a factor of importance in pronouncing the verdict upon the artistic merits of the object. It is wrong to make the technique the exclusive datum for judging the art, as occurs with the opinions of artists when they become critics. Yet beyond this unilateral position, it is indisputable that the technique is an element that should not be omitted from the repertory of data it is necessary to gather in order to make possible a fair aesthetic opinion. If technical ability of itself does not make the artist, it can be said, nevertheless, that the true artist cannot be one without it. All art criticism assumes a general concept of art as a premise of its judgments, that is, an aesthetic, since the task previous to all critical analysis is the inclusion or exclusion of a specific work within the category of the artistic. However, that premise is not exactly an idea, yet instead a priori knowledge of artistic value, which the critic can develop in an aesthetic theory or hold in its logical indetermination. In one way or another, as latent or explicit knowledge, the critic possesses a notion of art as an a priori form of their thought. Simply that such a category should be broad and flexible to accommodate the numerous concrete directions which art might take. The intelligent critic cannot censure an artist because they did not realize in their work that which they did not intend to realize. Each artist pursue their own artistic ideal, that which best corresponds to their personality, and what must be determined is whether the artist fulfills that purpose, or remains far from it or manifestly departs from it. High criticism of art, apart from the meaning it has as a vehicle for understanding the artistic work, is, considered in itself, a literary genre with its own value which can allow the expression of a great personality. We cannot subscribe to the opinion of Oscar Wilde brilliantly expressed in his dialogue Intentions that the critic is exclusively an artist. Numerous second-rate literary realizations exist, that is to say, emerging by reflex from a previous work. As much as this literary procedure may be very legitimate and be accredited with the highest aesthetic qualifications, its place is within literature in general, but not within criticism. For an essay on an artwork to merit the title of criticism, it should adopt an attitude of exegesis and evaluation and pronounce juridically upon the different aesthetic, historical, personal, social, et cetera aspect of the work considered. The critique of art is not a superfluous activity, but a function that obeys indispensable necessities of the artistic life and of the culture in general. The meaning of the artworks is not easily given to those to whom it is destined, because their comprehension requires a mental position to which one only arrives after an adequate education. It is true that aesthetic impressions can occur, in those of a certain culture, without the immediate help of the critic; that the reactions of the public are produced spontaneously without waiting to know what the critics say. Yet it is also true that the formation of public artistic consciousness will remain at an elementary level and at the mercy of bewilderment if the critic did not arrive to orient and elevate it. So then, this public artistic opinion is part of that aspect of culture which is vital to nourish all creative will within a specific society. Thus it is that without the intervention of the critic to illuminate and develop consciousness of the art which a society or a social group possesses, the latter will lack a powerful factor for stimulating progress and the purification of artistic production. If we focus the question without such a broad perspective, but instead attend to the individual case of the spectator, we can also say that he emerges ahead from the help of the critic. The first impression that a spectator receives which ignores the opinions of the critic, yet which have sensitivity and an innate good taste, should be just and sufficient for his personal satisfaction. Yet upon a second impression, after reading everything that the critic can teach him about the work itself, he will notice that his comprehension is refined, his impressions enriched and his aesthetic emotions intensified. From all that we have said it will be understood that the artistic life of a society or a nation would be incomplete without its criticism, for then it would lack the necessary organ to endow them with a consciousness of themselves, and possess knowledge of their own characteristics, which is definitely the norm for knowing what things can be devalued and what values can be perfected and enlarged. SECOND PART THE AESTHETIC OBJECT Once the artwork is done and has left the hands of the author it begins to exist with a life of its own. The artist dies, yet her creation endures through time. It is that certain subjective states have been converted into "objective spirit," to use an Hegelian expression. This is how the artist satisfies their lust for immortality and, at the same time, enriches human culture with a new work. Its existence has such a vigor on its own that it can influence the march of artistic tendencies and, in certain cases, even come to change them completely. The work of art once created exercises as backlash a suggestion in the spirit of the author himself and frequently traces the channel for his later creations. At a certain moment in the development, through weakening of the creative power, one may find the case of the artist trapped in his own work and condemned to repeat himself. Elsewhere, the imperative of the artwork is felt by other artists, who without reaching the harmful extreme of imitation, feel obliged to follow certain directions imposed by it. To one who doubts the independent objectivity of that work of art, they should remember or be made to see the force with which works produced in the past or the present, that is, one's tradition and contemporaries, press upon the mind. If the artist has to react to defend herself from these pressures, it is because real influences emanate from the works. metaphysics of art. -- That art lives for itself alone and displays objective qualities does not mean that it exists as a "thing in itself." The artistic work of course consists of a material substrate which is the stone in the statue, the colors of the painting, the sound of the music, the word in poetry, et cetera; it is in the book, in the score, in the wall. Yet the artistry of such works does not lie in their pure materiality, but instead so to speak in a certain potential virtue that only assumes existence when reflected in the spirit of an understanding spectator. The work of art only acquires actuality with reference to an artistic subject. If we speak, then, of an aesthetic object, whether it be in reality or in the art world, such an object will only possess existence upon being actualized in the mind of the contemplator. It is of the greatest importance in aesthetics to elucidate this question that envelops the problem of the objectivity of artistic values, for if the become unsustainable, the attempt to make objective judgments about art would lack justification. In favor of objectivity there is, for now, the fact that, in all epochs of history, mankind have believed in the universal validity of their artistic judgments, always given that they are supported, naturally, in a certain comprehension of art. This same history of art is founded on the supposition that such judgments are possible, for otherwise the content of it would only be the fruit of capricious selection. The human consensus that in every era elevates certain artistic masters to fame and consecrates the masterworks will then be in the air. Now then, we have affirmed that the work of art in truth only lives in the consciousness of the contemplator, yet this relativity does not in any way imply that the aesthetic object is nothing more than something subjective. There is no doubt that when we approach the artistic object in order to determine what its peculiar mode of being is, we find ourselves before a phenomenon which does not fit the habitual ontological categories. It is neither a "thing in itself," or real, and neither is it something merely subjective. Would this not be the occasion to create a new category of thought that might adapt to the most singular nature of the aesthetic phenomenon? Surely this is a philosophical necessity, for if we transfer to this art the categories which in other fields of reality make objects intelligible, we may not do what the aesthetic phenomenon suggests, but instead deform its true being. Yet while the metaphysics of art attains this desideratum of aesthetic knowledge, it is possible to give an approximate idea of what the artistic object is, through comparisons and explications. I represent the artistic object, in resemblance to those "virtual" images projected by a lens, which travel through the air with the eye unable to capture them, with the impalpable reality of light, yet which only acquire consistency and are made visible when intercepted by an opaque screen. The artistic object also has the ideality of an image, of an impalpable appearance that radiates from the work, until it collides and is retained by the sensibility of the aesthetic contemplator. And thus as we cannot say that the optical image is a product of the screen, even when only thanks to it does the image become visible, so neither can we say that the art is subjective, despite it always being indispensable for a subject to make it live. art and reality relationship. -- After having considered the artistic object in its relation to the subject of the art, it is necessary to examine it with reference to habitual reality. For most, this is a viewpoint that is included in the existence of the art, for there is almost no spectator who does not tend to look for the aspect of reality to which each artwork alludes, to understand its significance. This natural impulse of the spirit emerges because art always seems to express or represent something real. In effect, the art brings with it an echo of reality. A poem, a painting, a melody, are concrete object that have a real existence, yet they do not owe their artistic meaning to what they are as material facts, but instead to a virtual "something" they represent or express. Numerous artworks represent real beings or events or what could be real. A painting represents a landscape; a poem or a melody represent a state of the soul; a sculpture represents the form of a living being; a novel tells a story that could have happened, etc. The question then comes to mind: what relations exist between art and reality? The most obvious deduction that that superficial observation brings to mind is, that art imitates reality. Such was Plato's theory of mímesis. Yet here we have to refer ourselves to the general fact of imitation such as it is manifested in the history of art. In different ages works exist, like the figures of animals traced by pre- historic man on reindeer bones, which are testimony to a faithful imitation of a real model. However, such works do not have an artistic meaning and are only valuable as an index of quite a perfected manual and technical ability. Meanwhile, in diverse epochs and peoples the technique called "naturalism" is found, which now counts as an artistic value, even when the works that proceed in this direction are very far from being mere imitations. Taine once affirmed that art is reality seen through a temperament. In other artistic genres of the abstract style, it is much more difficult to discern the reflection of reality in their content, such as with music or architecture, whose more pure creations are the work of free fantasy. An ornamental geometric motif, what thing does it represent? What model of reality does a cathedral imitate? To art we owe precisely the creation of a world of beings, forms, movements, and fantastic events that only belong outside the real order. Objective reality is never a norm for the artist like it is for the scientist or philosopher who aspire to knowledge by means of reason. We do not demand of art that it tell us the truth, because its goals respond to other human purposes that are realized with the free exercise of the imagination. Yet is the artist is sovereign in her world, this does not mean that in essence arts excludes reality. All to the contrary, comedy, drama, painting, literature, et cetera, have a very deep root in nature and in real life, which are the nourishing grounds from which they derive their vitality. Artistic fantasy would be impotent if it were not nourished by receiving impulses of the impressions and images of real life. Without any doubt, art take inspiration from reality, starts from it and it constitutes its prime material. But then, what relation exists between art and reality, or stated otherwise, how does reality enter into art? The answer to this interrogative should provide us with one of the essential notes of art. In principle, all reality can be the object of an artwork, even when due to the limitation of the expressive media and of the artistic sensibility at each moment in the story imposes a selection in order to obtain that which is considered "worthy" of artistic interest. Yet as soon as the artist focuses this privileged reality to treat it aesthetically, it loses its character as such. That is to say, the artistic sensibility does not perceive reality as reality, but as something unreal. It is impossible for an object to impinge on us artistically at the same moment that it affects our life as a real entity; for it to produce such an effect it is necessary for it to appear in our lives as the specter of a reality, and carry implicitly a consciousness of the limits between reality and one's phantasm. Not in the aesthetics, but in the art. Pirandello has presented this problem as a dramatic author would approach it, that is, objectively, gathering from this the theme of his famous work, Six characters in search of an author. We would suffer a lamentable confusion were we in the presence of a theatre drama to take for true the occurrences which are produced in the scene. All art implies a deception, a voluntarily accepted illusion which is essential to the aesthetic activity, for otherwise we could not put ourselves in the false position of Don Quijote before the altar of Master Peter. To experience the reality as if it were unreal, it is indispensable that the subject place himself at a certain "spiritual distance" from the object and not invade its vital action, that action which awakens interest as a goal of the will or of knowledge. Spiritual distance is only an image that illustrates the same disinterest which Kant, the first, discovers as a characteristic of the sentiment of the beautiful and explains it as an attitude of the contemplating subject, indifferent to the existence or non- existence of the object. Later Schiller, following the direction traced by Kant, highlights that beauty is an "appearance" or, from the viewpoint of the artistic subject, "freedom within appearance" (Freiheit in der Erscheinung). The real alienation of the object in time or in space can produce the same effect of unreality as spiritual distance. The events of the past that memory can evoke, however lively they are presented, are still mere images, which only by being such have the prestige of the ideal. It is from this idealization that memory operates, perhaps supplying the impression that "any past time was better." If we again review the pages cited from Marcel Proust, we shall understand his meaning in an honest manner, adding that the aesthetic value of memory depends on the intensity of life, yet at the same time that it not be from life, but only an image of it. We have here, then, the significance that attaches to these words of the French writer: "my imagination which was the only organ to appreciate beauty"; memories are a celestial food because they are "real without being actual, ideal without being abstract." Experiences with memory cause Proust to discover that a coveted theme for his personal work did not need to be sought outside, for it already dwelt within him, in the lode of memory. It would suffice to revisit the course of memory and evoke "lost time" to have really in hand precious literary material. The historical past also exhibits reason in its distance, a certain artistic sense, which discovered by the Romantics was amply exploited by the literati and artists of the 19th century. Some prefer the Middle Ages, others the Renaissance, et cetera etc. but it is significant for the confirmation of the idea we may be expounding, how almost always the immediate past is not of interest, for it is still too alive, generally going instead to eras further removed from the present moment. Thus the artists of today do not turn their eyes back to the history of yesterday, which they repudiate, but instead much further back, towards epochs so remote they appear completely foreign to our present life. To terminate these considerations concerning distancing over time, we should mention the attitude of certain artists worried for the future, who have composed their works with an imaginary representation of what has not yet occurred, yet which the author hopes will happen, though outside of all logical predictability. The myth, the legend, the story, the fable, possess an aesthetic value, insofar as they permit the spirit to evade the real. Space is another factor that affects the aesthetic impression. Frequently the immediate, the near are not of interest; instead, the "exotic" is interesting and attractive as a value. Without ignoring the value of "novelty" contained in the "exotic," undoubtedly its prestige also depends upon its remoteness in space. We do not know at what point it would be exaggerated to say that it is intrinsic to the nature of art to flee from reality. We utilize all the procedures of "poeticizing, idealizing, stylizing" or "perfecting" reality that are nothing but so many means of avoiding it. It must be added that artistic procedures today are very frequently used to focus reality with unusual viewpoints which deform one's perspective on things, giving them a fantastic aspect. The ornamental art forms are the result of abstractions and deformations of real entities. Pure music, by a process of abstraction has derived certain natural expressive forms which, at a certain moment, have become independent so as to be constituted and evolve in light of its own requirements. In lyrical art, in order for a spiritual state, a lived passion or sentiment to serve as artistic material, it is necessary for the individual to place them before herself, as objective facts that no longer belong to her and which can be considered as mere spectacle. In sum, then, artistic fantasy operates by means of deformations, cuts, recompositions, abstractions, attenuations, exaggerations, objectifications, et cetera that transfer reality into the sphere of the ideal. transposition of meaning. -- The inner virtue of art will only be superficially described if we reduce it to mere transformation of the real into the ideal which, furthermore, is not exclusive to artistic activity, since scientific knowledge also operates in a similar manner, by converting existing facts into concepts. And it is insufficient to offer as a specific difference that art represents reality in concrete and sensory images, whereas science does so by means of abstract and rational concepts. For a process of idealization to be truly artistic, it is needful that it bring a deeper change along with it, that we shall call the transposition of meaning. This means that the real elements that enter into the art, whether it be directly in the contemplation of nature or indirectly represented, do not conserve their given meaning, but instead change it to a different one. Works of art have a real existence, which can be proved to the sensory intuition. The whole world can verify the vision, the physical reality of a statue, of a painting, or hear a poem that is read or a symphony which is performed, yet this sensory perception is very far from being artistic comprehension. It would be, were the artistic sense limited to understanding what the object is in its material being. Only to the understanding spectator does an ideal meaning appear behind the sensory form, which constitutes the artistic value of the work. "A landscape--says Nicolai Hartmann--surely exists in itself and as existing as a possible object of geographic, strategic or economic knowledge. Nevertheless as an object of aesthetic enjoyment, it is so only for the contemplator, only from a determinate position, only as that "seen" from a specific perspective. From a different position, in another perspective, another painting occurs and if it is in general an aesthetic object, in this instance it would be another object. Thus for the pictorially educated eye, it is a different object than for the not educated. The same happens with the artist's work, with a sculpture or a painted picture. Only the stone exists with its special form, the canvas with color on the surface. For the comprehensive artistic view the form exists full of life and the meaning of the scene that is represented in its spatial profundity behind the surface of the painting... In the fabric there 'appears' something else than what is on it. A landscape appears with its special depth, the scene with its life, the head with its characteristic features. All this is not real, should not be taken as real; at first glance, real is only the distribution of color on the surface of the fabric... All this 'appears' upon it or by means of it. The same occurs with sculpture. A figure represents movement (say Discobolo, Colleone's horse) yet the material product in stone or bronze does not move, and should not be taken for something that moves. The movement, the life appears as something else in that which is immobile and inanimate." Hartmann thinks therefore that the artistic object is constituted of two levels or strata. A deep level (Hintergrund) of a certain unreal content, yet which appears through a forward level or plane (Vordergrunde). The aesthetic value will not lie in either of the two strata, but instead in the relation of both. We believe that that relation will not be exactly defined, saying that it consists in the transparency of the real to the ideal, etc. The true relation between both planes is established by this change of meaning from one to the other, which we previously noted, and that now we designate with its proper name: metaphor. It would not be presumptuous to say that the peculiar expressiveness of the artistic object is always, to a greater or lesser degree, of the metaphoric type. It is such because its real elements are not taken in their literal sense, but in a figurative sense which is what appears to be its artistic value. In another part of this book we shall concern ourselves with analyzing the mechanism of metaphor.
AESTHETIC VALUES Before beginning this exposition we should declare that the attempt to define aesthetic values is one of the near impossibilities of the philosophy of art. Whereas the values of the art are given and fully evidenced by the aesthetic intuition of the artist or of the contemplator, the same does not occur when one tries to apprehend them rationally in order to determine their conceptual essence. With this, the aesthetic values demonstrate that their sensory quality is illogical and irrational. The first failed attempt to approach this problem was that of Plato when he attempted to philosophize concerning Beauty. Upon discovering the idea of the beautiful he establishes its priority as a normative principle in judgments of aesthetic value, yet leaves its content indeterminate. To the extent that they depart more from the sensory in order to reach the intelligible world, its concrete meaning seems to evaporate, until it becomes an Idea and appears to us in a completely empty form. Any attempt to repeat Plato's initiative must arrive at an identical result, that is to say, at a purely formalist conception of the value, beauty. So then, the value beauty is not a formal value, but is a concrete value, which becomes patent simply by considering that to call a poem, a melody or a painting beautiful, in reality we mean very different things that we qualify by the same name. What appears in these qualities as essential is precisely that which in each case individualizes them, not their common features. The difficulty follows, then, of defining what beauty is. However, the concept of beauty has two meanings. In one common usage under this name is comprehended the entire multiplicity of aesthetic values: the beauty of the tragic, the sublime, the gracious, the elegant, etc. Under a stricter usage we mean by beauty a certain concrete aesthetic value, for instance when we refer to the beauty of the human figure as understood by the Greeks, or the orientals, or the moderns, etc. This multivocal meaning complicates even further the task of reducing aesthetic value to a rational expression. Yet, then where does the unity come from that we attribute to the aesthetic value? We all have the conviction that poetry, music, painting possess that common quality which we call beauty, however much objectively it is a very different quality in these arts. Without any doubt this conviction about the unity of beauty comes to us when we psychologically experience such different things in the same mode, or it is that before them the same spiritual reaction in consciousness is produced. It was not clueless for Kant to seek a definition of the beautiful in the feeling that certain objects provoke in us, simply that that philosopher came to ignore the objectivity of that value. One seems, in effect, to have no other recourse for understanding aesthetic values than starting from the emotional reactions that correspond to them, but that this has the danger of leading, as happened with Kant, to a subjectivism which denies the existence of those values in the very objects recognized as beautiful. Nevertheless, this can be overcome if we consider the following reasons. In the first place Kant himself already indicated that our aesthetic judgments are emitted with the conviction that they have a general validity, that is, when I qualify an object as beautiful I do not intend to mean that it seems beautiful to me, but that its beauty should be recognized by all those who have the capacity to judge. Now then, the universal validity of aesthetic judgments is not founded, as Kant thought, upon certain subjective conditions such as, for example, a common sense of the beautiful, but instead on the contrary upon the conditions of the object. If a painting is unanimously considered to be beautiful it is because objective qualities must reside in it, which every subject prepared to feel them is obliged to recognize as beautiful. Nor do I ignore the difficulties presented by defining aesthetic values from the viewpoint of one's subjective reactions. When Kant affirms that the beautiful is everything which awakens a disinterested sentiment in ourselves, he says very little, only signaling a negative determination of the meaning of beauty. The interpretation which should be made of that classic Kantian definition is that the beautiful is that which pleases through mere contemplation and its existence or non-existence is indifferent to us, given that its values lies in the mere fact of being represented. It is the same idea which later appears clarified in Schiller, who regards the beautiful as what is given and satisfies us by mere appearance. The thought of Nicolai Hartmann moves in the same direction when to answer the question he says: "The values that adhere to aesthetic objects are not in general values of what they are in themselves, like perhaps the values of goods, or moral values, but instead values of a mere object as object, of an appearance as appearance." In this way Hartmann establishes a peculiar trait of aesthetic values that consists in adhering not to the reality of the object itself, but instead to what the object is for the contemplator. But to say that aesthetic values only appear in the subject-object relation does not mean that aesthetic values be subjective, yet simply that they are values referring to a subject. Aesthetic values are values that are realized exclusively in the sphere of the ideal as opposed to moral values where duty causes them to pass from the ideal to the real. For the spectator there does not even exist a demand to realize them, but instead only that of being recognized by means of the aesthetic intuition. A similar manner of thinking is expressed in the only reference that Schiller makes to aesthetic values in his Ethics. "In this way, the aesthetic values according to their essential laws are: 1. Values of objects. 2. Values of objects whose position in reality has been excluded (in whatever form) and which thus are given as "appearance"; or perhaps the phenomenon of their reality is partially the content of the objective phenomenon presented (in the image). This, for example, occurs in historical drama. 3. Values that belong to the object only by virtue of their intuitive plasticity." Or that is, following this latter indication, that aesthetic values are the values of appearance, but only insofar as it is a material appearance. It is to say that the ideality of aesthetic values is not an intellectual ideality or some other sort, but precisely of the sensory order. The structure of a work of art is always complex, yet it is necessary, for it to attain its true value, for the heterogeneous elements that compose it to be grounded in a full unity. Despite that critical reflection following the moment of contemplation decomposes it into various parts and has the fundamental aesthetic value fall under one or another, in truth the act of contemplation consists in a feeling which vivifies the art as a whole, as a unity. One should, then, conceive the artwork as an ideal structure in which the whole is first and later the parts, such that these cannot be values independently, but only as a function of or correlation with the whole. Only through abstraction can one speak of value in the form, of value in the content, of value in the expression, etc. What is certain is there cannot be fundamental aesthetic value if every one of the elements which a posterior analysis separates are not seen harmonized in a compact whole. Might a poem of magnificent form survive with a negligible theme? Or, on the contrary, does poetry of a grandiose theme within an insignificant form have value? The unity of aesthetic value in a specific work does not exclude the existence of a plurality of values, but on the contrary requires it, for one cannot speak of unity where variety does not exist. Aesthetic contemplation can be realized at different grades of consciousness from the vague impression of the unprepared--yet sensitive to art--spectator, to the intuition enriched by artistic knowledge of the critic. The original unity of the aesthetic impression is also produced in the critical spectator, yet the consciousness of this perceives the diverse qualities of the work from whose resultant its value emerges. The same wealth of her artistic experience permits her to capture the nuances that individualize the values in each work and to appreciate them in all their excellence. Then the partial values of the work appear in detail, values of the form, of the content, of the expressive material, of the technique, and in addition to those, the values of the artist's personality. The predominant aesthetic value perhaps constitutes the modality by which the artist utilizes and grounds all those elements into a singular unity. It is indeed the personality which determines that fusion of the particular qualities into that total value which we call beauty. We have said that the artist is found with an already established artistic language and technique, such that she only has to manipulate the given material for the realization of her personal intuition. This singular note is perforce one of the essential notes of aesthetic value, in contrast with other values, for example ethics, which can very well exist in certain generic forms of the action. The development of the general theory of values in contemporary philosophy impelled various particular disciplines within it to become axiological sciences by preference. The success of the Ethics of values induced following its example in the domain of philosophy of art. Yet here, upon converting Aesthetics to the Aesthetics of Values, a crisis arises for the aspiration towards unity that belongs to all science confronted by the irreducible multiplicity of aesthetic values. In the first place, that the values of beauty is characteristic of the domain of art is put in doubt, given that other sorts of values are also given by it, such as religious, moral, vital, political, et cetera values. The opinion of the artists themselves is found divided and while some practice the idea of a pure art, in which aesthetic values prevail to the exclusion of all others, another numerous group of artists maintains and practices the theory that art should serve useful ends for human society, whether in a moral, political or pedagogical sense, and consider that the idea of art for art's sake causes it to lose all its virtues of human efficacy. History would seem to justify this viewpoint with facts, since over long periods art was dedicated, for example, to religious goals and no one thinks at that time that it might serve for something else. Though the history of art also displays numerous instances that are in their majority disinterested creations which only aspire to realize an ideal of beauty, nevertheless the contradiction of tendencies persists and aesthetics has no choice, if it wants to arrive at a universally valid theory of art, than to try to resolve the contradiction, not by the sacrifice of one position in favor of the other, but instead through a dialectic capable of bringing the opposed terms into a superior synthesis. The most legitimate human valuations have always conceded to beauty its own class and an exclusive purpose, it being sufficient if full authenticity is realized in a work for it to be conceded artistic merit, with indifference to whether other values are manifested there. The demand that art realize moral, social, political, et cetera values can have justification, yet it is secondary, before the primordial requirement for the realization of beauty. Otherwise it would be degraded to serve as an instrument for purposes foreign to art and the beautiful would be equipped with the useful. The value of beauty is undoubtedly an autonomous value that corresponds to spiritual interests of a peculiar order, which find their adequate manifestation with art for art's sake. What constitutes an error in the purist tendencies of art is to attempt to radically exclude the extra-aesthetic values from the work, by way of reducing its content to the values of beauty. If, in effect, these values are autonomous and have their own dignity, such a thing does not mean they are solitary and isolated values without relation to the rest. Completely the contrary, the aesthetic values are connected with the others and their presence in the artwork far from diminishing its aesthetic quality gives it greater life and humanity. However much arts results from a function oriented toward a special goal, it should be kept in mind that the totality of the spirit participates in it and is integrally communicated in the work. In action the spirit can parcel itself into diverse forms of life, yet without any one of these breaking the connection with the others. The momentary predominance of an activity does not make the others disappear; it only means that they are added to the direction imposed by the predominant interest. That which has been called the "dehumanization of art" is the exaggeration of the purist tendency when the latter proposes to exclude all values that are not merely aesthetic. But this extreme tendency leads to the annulment of art. True art can only consist in the achievement of aesthetic ends yet without excluding other human ends from it. In a word, art has to always maintain itself within the limits of human life, which it represents and expresses. It was said above that by a process of abstraction we separate the human ingredients from the aesthetic values of the work, which in truth form an indissoluble unity. And in fact the naive spectator experiences the aesthetic impression as a whole, in which the diverse constituent elements do not appear separate, yet instead forged into a tight unity. It cannot be said that the aesthetic impression results exclusively from the artistic values that the work displays, but from the sum of the qualities which comprise it, although some of them, considered in themselves, may not be aesthetic. As they enter into the composition of the work these qualities acquire, through the modeling action of the spirit, an aesthetic function they did not previously have.
aesthetic value problems. -- Aesthetic values are the object of philosophical consideration ever since the notion of the beautiful attains consciousness in the thought of the Greeks, with prominent relief in the dialogues of Plato. In some subsequent epochs of history, aesthetics has been identified in an almost exclusive manner with the philosophy of beauty. Yet the predominant tendency in modern thought is to subordinate aesthetics to philosophical reflection upon all the aspects of art and focus on the theme of beauty as one of these. The advantage of preferring this point of view is that it approaches the problem of beauty directly in the concrete field of art, and not how the aesthetics of the beautiful did so on the terrain of metaphysics. Now then, considered from the point of view of art, the beautiful is not a species but a genre, that includes a plurality of aesthetic values like, for instance, the dramatic, the tragic, the comical, the gracious, the elegant, etc. I think that regarding aesthetic values one needs to answer the following questions which only emerge if one begins to meditate upon that theme: 1. Are aesthetic values exclusive to art or can they be manifested outside of it? 2. Does art only contain aesthetic values or other diverse values as well? 3. If non-aesthetic values are presented in art, do these participate as essential elements in the constitution of the work of art? 4. If that occurs, how do they help to form the artistic meaning of the work? natural beauty. -- The metaphysics of the beautiful have always accepted the common notion that this value covers a greater extension than the domain of art, given that it truly constitutes a universal property of being. This conception does not imply, of course, that all beings are beautiful, but indeed that all might be so or even should be so. Seemingly, this idea is inspired from the example of nature which creates an inexhaustible fantasy of inanimate and living beings, in which form and color are combined in harmonies whose meaning cannot depend on a merely useful finality. To this can be added that in the vegetable and animal world the beings that comprise it seem to attain plenitude, as if the creative impulse achieved absolute coincidence between intention and realization, which is what makes a work perfect. In general, nature appears beautiful to us when we cease considering it in its reality and it appears to us as an expression or symbol of a spirit that is hidden in it. Nature in its reality is silent, yet mankind gives it a voice, converting it to a language that speaks of recondite and mysterious things. Thus we see, aesthetic contemplation of nature participates in much animism and anthropomorphism. Natural beauty is nothing but the transposition of human ideas, feelings, aspirations to the world of nature. In the sphere of man beauty is encountered sporadically, when it seems that some individuals have reached a certain physical or moral perfection. In reality Plato's aesthetics were an investigation of the idea of beauty, not to make it an ideal of art, but instead to propose it as an ideal of human life which the Athenian philosopher wished to see converted into the maximum artistic work. The value of Beauty is for Plato, above all a normative value of human existence. non-aesthetic artwork values. -- Given that the work of art is a personal creation in which the totality of the spirit intervenes, it does not seem strange that the entire repertory of human life's values should appear in it. The analysis of any artistic product selected from no matter what era fully confirms that presumption, revealing the presence of moral, vital, hedonistic, religious, et cetera values. The presence of this plurality of values is explained by the genesis of different unilateral aesthetic theories, each one attempting for its part to convert one of those values into the essential value of art. One can so interpret those doctrines which, without ignoring the fundamental demand that the work possess beauty to be identified as artistic, nevertheless judge that the quality of the beauty is a function of some other distinct quality, or indeed almost confound it with that. It is like, for example, in the Platonic doctrine beauty is conditioned by the good, while in the philosophy of Plotinus art is conceived as an approximation of the religious life, for its finality exceeds the latter in order to control its domain. The doctrines called rationalist cause the value of art to consist in a certain rational ordering, as occurs in the case of the French aesthetic of the Enlightenment, which even comes to define beauty as the truthful. Another modality of this tendency is that which is manifested in certain metaphysical systems, when they attribute to art the property of revealing or objectifying the Idea of the world, or ultimately of somehow obtaining knowledge of reality. In this enumeration--which does not pretend to exhaust all the varieties of aesthetics, but only include the greater and more representative philosophical categories of certain types of thinking that have left a mark on history--the vitalist art doctrines cannot be omitted of whom spokespersons have been first Schiller and later Guyau and Nietzsche. It is understood that from this viewpoint the qualities belonging to the art cannot be made valuable in themselves, unless they are well impregnated with living feeling. For many philosophers and art critics of our time, aesthetic quality should be judged according to whether the presumed work of art is or is not capable of elevating our feeling of vitality. Within this aesthetic tendency should be classified, indubitably, Lipps' famous doctrine of "emotional projection." Also mentioned should be the doctrines that conceive the value of beauty as a quality of the object capable of producing in the spectator a special type of pleasure which is denominated "aesthetic pleasure." In this perspective is found nothing less than the doctrine of Kant. The observation might be made that almost all these doctrines have emerged from the purely philosophical sphere, and transcend the art critic and the most enlightened public of the dilettanti, for whom philosophy does nothing but return in systematic form ideas it originally took from those sources. Such aesthetic ideas are found in the mind of the critics and enthusiasts in the form of intuitions that are felt at the base of their evaluations and judgments of art. They are not, then, dead aesthetic doctrines, but instead live elements that act constantly in the artistic consciousness. Now then, what that diversity of doctrines demonstrates is that, in effect, in the work of art are found not only its properly aesthetic values, but also other values. The presence of diverse values in works of art have motivated in our era a discussion about whether art should accept alien values or whether it should only possess aesthetic values. This discussion touches, then, upon the topic which has been called "purism" in art, and not only critics but also the artists themselves have participated in it. The importance of this debate has not been exclusively theoretical, for some artists or groups of artists have taken an interest in one or another of these aesthetic conceptions and join their production to it. In our time literary or artistic dinners have abounded in which gather writers, painters or musicians to work in accord with an aesthetic theory expressed in advance in a "manifesto." "Pure poetry," "pure music" and "pure painting" have been defended in this manner, and on the other side different groups have maintained the contrary thesis, declaring that art consists in the expression of certain human contents, ideas, sentiments, social and political problems etc. At root this discussion re-plants the old antithesis between the content and the aesthetic form. Does art consist in the pure form? Does it consist in the content? The answer to these questions is that the form and the content are pure abstractions and only as such can be conceived separately, yet do not exist in reality, isolated one from the other. Another might say concerning art-purism and the contrary thesis, that is, the debate over whether the artwork consists exclusively in the aesthetic values that it contains or whether to be considered as such it is necessary that it at the same time possess other values. aesthetic values as value ranges. -- The artistic production, as we have explained elsewhere, results from an organic process of creation in which the work is conceived, certainly, as a whole and realized as an indissoluble unity of its constituent elements. Therefore the aesthetic impression that it produces in the spectator is unitary; its different elements appear coordinated in the subject's existence as a totality where the meaning of the contemplated work is made manifest. Only a subsequent analysis through critical reflection is what can decompose such a work into its constituent parts, which then are presented separately, but only in abstraction. To speak, then, of aesthetic values as of entities separated from the work and to try to define them in that pure state is to undertake a difficult task and not encouraging if it only leads us to find a form without content, as happened to Plato by converting beauty into a pure Idea. The intelligence is confronted here with an essentially irrational object and the most that can be said about it is that, even when we conceive it as a value distinct from the others, what we call beauty is concretely a constellation of values. The problem of then deciding if the presence of values such as the agreeable, the vital et cetera etc. is fundamental to the constitution of the artistic object would be resolved saying that yes they are, for they enter into a special connection by which they acquire a different meaning from what they possess as isolated entities and though which they produce the aesthetic effect we attribute to beauty. Beauty is not something apart from the contents of the art, yet instead an ordering of all of it in the direction of beauty. The value of the beautiful could not, then, be captured by the intelligence, but as a direction of all the elements reunited in the work towards that finality without end that is specific to art. the pretty. -- Among the products of minor art and, sometimes, embracing only the shadows of the aesthetic one finds a type of work whose pretensions do not go beyond producing gratification of the senses. The values that correspond to these works reduce to the agreeable and the pretty. From a purely artistic viewpoint it has been judged that such values cannot qualify as aesthetic because their proximity to vital necessities removes their character of disinterest. I do not know up to what point this underestimation can be attributed to a prejudice against the vital that relegates it to an inferior plane completely foreign to all artistic sense. Perhaps from another point of view one should judge, not that those values derive from the sphere of the vital, but instead that the vital rises to such values. It is undeniable that certain human instincts, for instance the sexual instinct, are provided with a certain aesthetic sense. In one way or another the modern artists have combated against the agreeable and the pretty, by means of the art itself, creating works in a style that is manifestly opposed to those values. With that attitude they have fallen into the contrary vice, which lies in considering that pure aesthetic values are only found in the disagreeable and the ugly. I refer to that art which abuses the dissonance of deformation and monstrosity when there is no reason to consider that the highest aesthetic values necessarily exclude the quality of the agreeable. There currently appears in art a search for the manner of incorporating the newly conquered values within the most harmonious and most logical forms like those that inspired the classical style.
POETRY poet and poetry. -- The poetic genius has always appeared among the people as an exceptional individuality, yet who instead of staying separate from the masses, links spiritually to them as a spokesperson for a deep national will which they serve, revealing their most elevated aspirations and sentiments. Their poetic work is not simply a play of fantasy, but can also be the carrier of a message giving consciousness to the spirit of their people. In epochs of religiosity the poet is seen as a divine being through which is expressed, in moments of inspiration, the voice of the gods themselves. Plato considers inspiration as a state wherein the poet is possessed by strange forces under whose impulse and direction the poetic work is realized. He thus defines it as a divine mania. Plato examines the essence of poetry in his dialogue in the Ion. Here he establishes a true aesthetic for the first time: that poetry is neither a work of science nor of technique, which is to say that it does not proceed from reason. Poetry, according to the Platonic thesis, originates from an irrational power that invades the individual and converts him momentarily into an instrument of an alien will. The poet is one possessed by the Muses, an enthusiast in the literal sense of the word, or say a god-crazed man, because in his breast the divine influx or the god itself has penetrated. Just as the poet is the interpreter of divinity, in the same manner the rhapsode, who must recite or sing the poem, falls into the same state in order to become an interpreter of the poet and transmit a similar effect to the listener. Thereby a poetic chain is established between the god and the mere spectator whose intermediate links are the poet and the rhapsode, comparable to the Herculean stone or magnet, which has the property of attracting iron, communicating to it at the same time its power of attraction. A more vivid picture cannot be offered of the intimate virtue of poetry, of its metaphysical meaning, as an expression emanating from the mysterious ground of existence. If minor poetry in all times has a non-transcendent quality, poetry par excellence, which emerges at long intervals in the history of humanity, never stops offering in its content an intuition of the world and of life. Poetry had begun being myth, which is one way of symbolically expressing a sense of the world and of life. Yet not solely in humanity's infancy, yet also in the adult civilizations the great poet is the eternal child who before the dominance of reality and the sciences reclaims the forges of the imagination to create the new myths that touch, with their symbolism, aspects of life hidden from one engaged in facts. Without the pretension of exhausting the theme concerning the essence of poetry, we only want to indicate two aspects of it, metaphor and rhythm, some fundamental features of the aesthetic phenomenon.
metaphoric expression. -- Metaphor can be considered as one of the typical forms of poetic expression and is defined as "a trope which consists of translating the overt meaning of the voices or other figures in virtue of a tacit comparison." Metaphor has its origin in the primitive belief that many things are "taboo," are prohibited, and even simply naming them can carry prejudice. Yet since otherwise the primitive feels obliged to refer to them, she does not allude directly, but by means of a detour, which consists in valuing a comparison that suggests the thing. The Polynesian who must not name anything that belongs to the king, when he sees the torches burn in the palace- cabaña, has to say "the ray blazes in the clouds of heaven." Giambattista Vico already notes in the Scienza Nova that primitive language is a poetic language originating in the needs of nature and not in the caprice of pleasure. Myths and fables fill speech with poetic locutions before the rational language of prose appears. In historical evolution poetry appears first and then prose afterwards. This same idea sustains a contemporary philosopher. "The essence of poetry--says Heidegger--should be conceived as the essence of language...poetry never receiving the language as material to be elaborated and that would be given in advance, but instead on the contrary it is poetry that begins to make language possible. Poetry is the primitive language of a people." Now then, this primitive language is poetic because it is metaphorical and precisely because metaphor is a creation of fantasy it enables "poiesis." Poetic metaphor consists, then, in a transposition of the "meaningful intention" of the words. If I say of the mouth that it is "a rose incarnate" (Villaurrutia) already the meaning of these words does not refer to the object that they designate, that is, to a flower, but instead by comparison the mouth is suggested. A real object is "idealized" in this way, transferred from the plane of reality to that of fantasy. "Poetry--says Heidegger--is like a dream, not like reality; it is a play of words, not the serious part of action." It invents a world of images that are the transfiguration of the real world. The interest of the subject is attracted towards the image, which assumes a greater importance than the object and is where the aesthetic value appears. "Poetry --says Ortega y Gasset--is euphemism, eluding the everyday name of things, preventing our mind being stymied from its habitual sense worn out from use, and through an unexpected circuit put us before a never before seen vista of a common object. The new name re-creates it magically, makes it pristine again." This is to say that the poetic world is a new imaginary version of the real world, this same world that the poet would make were she a God. "Poetry--says Heidegger--is the establishment of being through the word." Many times the poet, with a profound word that is always an image, not only gives the thing a new name, but also discovers its essence for us and causes it to exist for us. In this sense the poet becomes the interpreter of the god. rhythm. -- Poetry is born united to music. The Greek rhapsode sang the verses accompanied by a musical instrument. The symbol of poetry has been Apollo's lyre. Only much later in the course of history does poetry separate from music so as form an independent artistic genre, however conserving a musical element, rhythm. Verse is a grouping of verbal sounds that obey a primary rhythmic law: repetition. Verse is a rhythmic unity because it repeats and forms series (stanzas) that require exact mathematical measures. Verse always has a fixed number of syllables and an invariable regularity in the accents of intensity. The rhythmic support is sought in the repetition of sounds: rhyme. Rhyme is the repetition of sounds at the end of a verse and ties one to another by means of the sound that is repeated. Guyau says that rhyme is the metronome of verse. Evidently verse constitutes a mode of expression very different from the habitual. No man in daily life speaks in verse to communicate with others. Verse breaks the naturalness of language and represents a deliberate will to create an artificial, mannered expression. Surely rhythm is related to that state of the soul which Nietzsche called Dionysian. Rhythm has the power of soothing or of exaltation, leads to the dream or inebriation, disposition which equally debilitate the sense of reality and leave the field free to the poetic imagination. Concerning the origin of rhythm different explanations have been proposed, yet all have coincided in deriving it from certain natural facts. Rhythm is also a cosmic phenomenon. Characteristic of certain temporal processes is the tendency to be produced or reproduced at regular intervals. Looking exclusively at human life this rhythmic movement is observed in the essential physiological functions, such as for example respiration and the circulation of the blood. There are those who find in these vital phenomena the primordial cause of the rhythm of versification, due to the need of accompanying the recitation of poetry with the respiratory timing. For Guyau rhythmic language of the natural expression of emotional mankind. An emotion of a certain intensity will tend to channel the expression within a rhythmical order, as we add also occurs in the movements of dance. There should exist, undoubtedly, a relation between emotion and rhythm, because this in turn, as the effects of music and poetry demonstrate, is a powerful stimulant of emotion. Yet if the natural rhythms of emotion are encountered at the root of artistic rhythms (poetry, music and dance) the latter result from an elaboration of the former in a form that imposes an aesthetic will. In a word, artistic rhythm is now neither natural, nor spontaneous, but instead the product of an attempt at expression that is inspired by the consciousness of certain aesthetic values. Thus it cannot be thought that the forms of rhythm in art are simply a derivation of a natural rhythm or imitation of it, but instead creations of the artistic genius. Moreover, while in nature rhythm is only a mode of being (regular repetition of phenomena over time) in art rhythm acquires the value of an expressive form.
MUSIC essence of music. -- The comprehension of aesthetic meaning in the arts of imitation is facilitated, up to a certain point, by the evident nexus possessed by the determinate order of real things. The same is not true with music, because all traces of imitation or representation disappear in it and it seems necessary to consider it in itself only and as an independent entity. It could not be adduced as an argument en contra, the instances of music imitative of natural noises, because they do not represent typical examples of pure music, but instead of the contrary, mostly constituting deviations that are justified only when they possess a certain musical value of their own, and be independent of the matter they concern, that is, when they are not mere transcriptions. Such, for example, is the case with the storm in Beethoven's Pastorale, already an elaboration of the theme of nature within the symphonic forms. It suffices to say that music has no use for these imitations and that their aesthetic virtues derive from values belonging to them. However, music would lack aesthetic value if it consisted only of a sonorous physical process that could not possibly refer to any human realities. We could not say with exactitude that music imitates states of the soul, for the two things being so heterogeneous it could not be explained that one was the image of the other. Yet if it does not guard with its soul a representative relationship, it is tied another way especially with the emotional sphere, of which music has been considered as a notorious form of expression. Does the essential aesthetic value of music reside in its emotional expressiveness? How is this feeling expressed in music? We revert, in order to answer these questions, to the origins of music, when the natural human impulses that gave birth to it are still present. Song and dance are primitive forms of the music in which our psycho-physiological origins are manifested. The primitive employed those forms to express certain sentiments, for example, her religious feelings. Yet this usage is also conserved in the music of the highly developed peoples. The power which music has over feelings is universally recognized, and we know that it is susceptible to awakening an entire gamut of emotions, from the lowest sensuality to the most noble human sentiments. In Greece legend represented Orpheus dominating the ferocious beasts with the magic of song accompanied by the lyre. We need not insist on the evident function that song and dance have of emotional expressiveness. Only that in evolving music tends to distance itself from the natural impulses which gave it origin. Already at the moment when the melody is sung with the voice, and the rhythm of the corporal movements is translated to instruments, music breaks its umbilical cord and lifts into flight in search of a free existence. With music located on its aesthetic plane, it abstracts from the psycho physiological laws and is transformed into a sonorous process that moves gradually in accordance with exclusive laws. Musical value falls, ever more, in the pure sound play, where in the multiple combinations of the melody, rhythm and harmony, it acquires varied forms. Does music in its abstract developments ever completely detach from the service of feelings?
feeling in music. -- A feeling can develop in two opposite directions, toward the inside or towards the outside, to be converted into contemplation or into action. In the first instance, the emotive state tends to resolve itself into pure "inner life" whose development contemplates the subject in all its details, at times indulging in deepening and prolonging one's state. This attitude is admirably expressed in some of Beethoven's moving adagios. Through internalization, sentiment aspires to unfold until reaching full consciousness, in which the concrete traits that individualize it are highlighted. Accordingly, the words in this case cannot be dispensed with being the only medium that records feeling to achieve its concrete expression. It is the lyrical state par excellence and its natural language can be nothing but song or poetry. But if this same tendency attempts to be validated by instrumental music one encounters a serious conflict. Since pure sound is the only recourse of instrumental music, abstract and general forms of expression must be imposed, very inappropriate for molding a feeling which aspires to be offered in its singularity. Beethoven was one of the first musicians to introduce this new expressive direction--Romanticism or a precursor of Romanticism--experiencing of course the conflict between the general forms that classicism had created and his will to individual expression by means of the music. "Before Wagner--says Nietzsche-- music moved within generally narrow limits. It applied to permanent states of man, to what the Greeks called ethos; it was Beethoven who began to utilize the language of pathos, that is, of the impassioned will, of the dramatic phenomena that occur in man's heart." In truth, the Beethovenian passion gave a new intonation to music: the dramatic. Yet soon the music had to feel the contradiction between the principle of individuation of pathos and the generic formulas of the ethos. Hard-pressed by the need for a concrete expression, Beethoven reverts to the human voice in the Ninth in order to overcome the limitation of the instruments. Yet it is in Wagner where the principle of individuation of pathos is displayed with full intensity and magnitude. Wagner rebelled against the indeterminacy of the musical language, because his ideal required a clarity that would focus the expressive meaning of the music. "His music--says Nietzsche--is never indeterminate, never fugitive, and everything said by its voice, whether of mankind or of nature, is animated by a rigorously individualized passion. Even the fire and fury enclose the irresistible force of a personal will." Nevertheless, music alone has not sufficed for Wager to attain the expressive individuation of which Nietzsche speaks. That purpose was not fully realized except by means of the opera. Theatre was indubitably the natural outlet for the same impulse for concrete expression that motivated Beethoven, but in the case of Wagner is revealed as already frankly divergent from the music, given that it obliged him to leave his field in search of another language. musical action. -- Now we can return to the other direction in which feeling can be channeled, development towards the outside. A feeling that is projected to the exterior is destined to become a corporeal action. When this happens the feeling vanishes as a subjective state in order to become an animating force of certain human acts. Such acts can be directed towards a useful finality where, in that case, they are integrated into the practical conduct of the individual; or instead, lack finality and be limited to giving expression to emotion. When this occurs, when the movements of the body pursue nothing but to satisfy an expressive need and be recreated in the play of this expression, becoming the prime material of the dance. For dance to emerge out of that play of corporeal movements, it is necessary to impose a rhythmic form on them which organizes them into an aesthetic order. The sentiment that is externalized in corporeal acts has to lose its individuality in order to accommodate the generic forms of movement. A single feeling experienced by diverse individuals in reality only has in common its motor side that is manifested in analogous corporeal attitudes, in analogous gestures. Corporeal gestures and attitude are external social forms that translate emotion. The consequence of this is that when emotion is transformed into movement, its psychological content becomes abstract, adjusting better to the generality of music than to feelings destined to be expressed in one's concrete individuality. Another of the roots of music is found in dance, for its movements have inspired a varied repertoire of sonorous forms that can be executed exclusively on musical instruments. In the music originated from dance one clearly perceives the human elements with which the sonorous expression is commingled that contribute to give it its aesthetic meaning. That which music has abstracted from the emotive state is its vital movement. "The reason for the existence of music--says Pierre Lasserre, in the Philosophie du Goût Musical--does not reside solely in the fact of human auditory sensibility. It resides in the intimate and special relation that unites auditory sensibility with the springs of living motion and most in particular that of psychic motion." This theory of music since originated on the motor side of emotion is also valid for the type of feelings of a lyrical tendency animated by a movement capable of engendering a musical "idea." One should understand by musical "idea," not a sonorous theme, but instead a direction susceptible to guiding the musical development in accord with the logic of the sounds themselves which is already independent of the logic of the feelings. If music has in its origin a language function to signify something that is not music, to perfect itself, that meaning is progressively lost until at last not expressing more than what belongs to the music itself. The music of all times has oscillated between two points: either to remain subordinate to its emotive springs as music-language, or to depart this destination in search of an ideal of pure musicality. In history, the music of action is predominant in the classical period. The fugue discovered by Bach was a motor impulse for transcending the too narrow framework of the music of dance. It thematic elements supported by a powerful dynamism acquired the capacity for unlimited development which later originated the symphonic genre. One of Bach's excellencies will be found in the continuous movement of his music, which like a marvelous shuttle weaves the sounds into a closed weft. The sonorous arabesque is channeled within a rigorous and implacable logic, yet instead of it being a limitation, is the necessary ordering to concentrate the intensity of the musical effect. It almost seems paradoxical that with such an inflexible construction order and using the minimal resources of a chamber orchestra, Bach could have created such a dense sonorous volume, against which much of the later music for great orchestral masses sounds like an insubstantial racket. It is natural that Bach's repertoire, so varied and so rich, cannot be reduced to the simple scheme that we have denominated musical action. One cannot deny, however, that action is a prominent quality in the art of that extraordinary musician. Over the course of the 19th century this type of music does not disappear, even when relegated to a second rank by the expansion and prepotency of the contrary type, the music expressive of feeling and the drama of the inner man. This is not the place to chronicle the vicissitudes of the music of action throughout that entire century. We shall only recall in passing how it lives in the "scherzos" of Beethoven and how it returns to preponderate for a while in his magnificent Seventh Symphony. classicism and Romanticism. -- If music, as we have explained, is the sublimation of an emotional process, whether it be converted into action or sublimated into an internal feeling, upon the concept that music has regarding the art will depend which of one or another of those two directions follows. Thus the music-language is the consequence of considering the art as a simple expressive medium and the composer who obeys this norm will try above all to transmit by means of the music an authentic impression of her sentiments. But if on the contrary the norm which guides it is that of creating a music whose virtues emanates from the latter, she will subordinate the expressive demand to the achievement of purely sonorous values. This disparity of intentions in the musician determines the apparition of two styles in which the aesthetic interest falls or not on the content or falls on the artistic form: They are the two great historical categories of classicism and Romanticism. That which is important in classicism is the work, behind which the personal feelings of the artist disappear. In Romanticism, on the contrary, what is important to the artist is to be herself present in her work, putting her personal life into it. To each one of these artistic categories there corresponds a different musical form. The critic Boris de Schloezer asks, "How was this Romantic individualist spirit manifested, from the technical point of view? Through the predominance of the elements timbre and harmony liberated at last from the strict subjection under which ancient melody was maintained, and by the development of atonality. And here is where we find Wagner, especially Tristan, because the true source of these tendencies is Tristan, whose spirit under this relation animate all modern music until Stravinski: Petruschka is the first work really opposed to Wagnerian harmonic thought, for Tristan inaugurated that era of tonal ambiguity in which music existed for more than half a century and that finally ends in the systematic and rigorous atonality of Schoenberg." Romanticism had to regard melody with jaundiced eyes for being the most abstract form of music, which is to say, the most distant from psychic reality. However much melody may have originated from emotive processes, it would be inexact to identify it with them; a state of spirit treated melodically loses its reality as a psychic fact and is transformed into something else, into a musical event. The melody can arise from the same psychic motive as the emotion, yet in their development the two travel in divergent orbits. The logic of the melody is different from the logic of the emotion. The melody is, therefore, a form created by the musical genius of the man, not a mere imitation of feeling.
PLASTIC ARTS meaning of the plastic vision. -- Painting and sculpture are considered as those of the plastic arts that are, to a large degree, imitative of natural objects. The history of art gives us the example of pictorial art, which in diverse epochs have pursued the ideal of faithfully reproducing beings or scenes from reality. From the prehistoric painter who engraved with surprising exactitude the silhouette of animals on reindeer bones to some masters of modern art, painting has not stopped offering realistic pictures. The norm for such painting would have to be sought then in the models that nature presents. Of course one must caution that not all painting which conserves history is realist. Realism is one of the pictorial tendencies that from time to time is repeated; perhaps in every age one could find realistic painters, although many of them do not represent the predominant taste and pass unnoticed. What in this style of painting is the part that touches the artist as a creator? Even when in the works most committed to realism it seems that the painter finds the picture already made--for example, a landscape, whose problem is purely technical, that of translating the matter to the canvas--at root there are other aesthetic problems that should be resolved first. The selection of the model already reflects the taste of the artist and thus may be one of the most arduous aesthetic problems for the realistic painter. Even selecting the situation, the painter is presented with the problem of finding the viewpoint, the angle and the most adequate occasion to best exploit the model's excellencies. If anyone thinks that in realist painting the painter plays a passive role, they should be reminded of the anecdote about the four painters from Tivoli who, having proposed to faithfully render a single landscape, achieved four very different paintings. It would be excessive to analyze all the alterations suffered by the model through the optical sensibility of the artist. In reality, the artist always filters her impressions through her sensibility, such that the image of the object can be less or more rich in details. It suffices to recall here Taine's celebrated definition that the artist is nature seen through a temperament. There does not exist then an objective vision of reality. Perception selects according to principle the zones of reality that correspond to a variable subjective interest which can be practical, scientific, artistic, etc. A single landscape is not seen the same way by a farmer, a botanist and an artist. The visual image of each one of these subjects orders things in a different way, according to the values that they represent for their distinct interests. The zones of perceptive interest intermix with zones of insensibility and inattention to things which at that moment lack interest for the subject. Perhaps objective reality itself is a chaos that would disconcert us. When the eye is less educated, the visual image that it obtains from reality is more disordered. The superiority of the artist consists precisely in the capacity to impose, by means of his visual perception, order upon the image of real things. Perception is definitely the imposition of a form in the images, and art "is a garden conquered out of chaos." The manner of feeling the lines, the colors, the light, the planes, the volumes, the space, corresponds to certain a priori forms of visual perception, within which objective impressions are ordered. The expression of this sense of form is what has been called the artistic style, which can be individual or collective, from a school, from a country, from an era, etc. The different ideals of beauty that history demonstrates accurately translate the variations in this sense of form. The realism in the painting, most commonly called "naturalism," constitutes an application of the aesthetic sense because its representatives, consciously or unconsciously, employ artistic means for the ends of knowledge. That which this painting attempts is not only to delight us, but also instruct us. Therefore it has documentary value, in addition to its aesthetic value. The hidden ideal that all painting in history pursues is the humanization of reality. Live nature or still life acquire a plastic value when they appear in images whose forms put the represented objects in the intimate relationship with the demands of human spirituality. It is not inexact to say that art spiritualizes nature and causes it to enter into the world of mankind. The proof that the immanent aspiration in art is humanization, is found in the fact that its favorite theme in the epochs when it reached greatest perfection is the representation of the human figure. We recall solely by way of illustration classical Greek art, the painting of the Renaissance and the masterworks of modern painting up to our own day.
primitive art modern art. -- By force of custom it is frequent to condemn a pictorial work when it does not look like the real objects. Since this is the most notorious quality of the new painting, all those interested in good will towards it, before judging it, should reflect on what is the true relation between the real world and the artist. One could study that directly in the refined works, if it were not that the sincerity of every refined artist is suspicious and one tries to determine if the works are not artificial. She then has to direct herself to artistic works whose spontaneity is as assured as that of a plant in yielding its flowers. In that category is found primitive art, which furthermore, through its simplicity facilitates any aesthetic investigation. Comparing and analyzing the morphology of popular Mexican painting, seven elements are discovered in it: the spiral, the circle, the semi-circle, the wavy line, the S-shaped wavy line or beauty curve, the zig-zag line, and the straight line. These elements exist in many primitive arts, yet undergo variations that define the style of each people. The primary elements are not pure geometric forms; they are taken from nature, after abstracting from the complexity of a concrete figure. They derive from an unconscious abstraction that simplifies the outline of things; at times, the profiles of several are synthesized into a general scheme. The slight exactitude of primitive drawing should not be attributed to technical incompetence of the artists. It is that they do not propose to graphically reproduce the objects in their outline, due to a mere mimetic taste. If this were so the primitive would have indifferently copied any object in nature. Now here, the artistic forms demonstrate that the pictorial interest of the primitive was limited to the beings or phenomena that had a vital relation with him: the sun, the serpent, the thunderbolt. He tries to represent them not for what those objects are in themselves, but instead for the emotional reaction they provoke. He vaguely draws the objects in an instinctive manner, in order to diminish their importance and give them a personal expression linking them to him. Since primitive artistic activity is realized outside of all deliberate tendencies, its direction should be considered a general aesthetic law. And then, prehistory provides us a factual argument against mimeticism in painting. In recent painting it is also visible that the motive of imitation is not the artist's guide. Indeed, it seems that art tends toward non-realism. Which does not mean that the artist dispenses with all real elements in her work, nor that these remain at the mercy of her whims. We already noted that painting, in a certain way, can diminish the impression of reality substituting the details of an object until leaving nothing more than an approximate silhouette; in a word, deforming it. Yet if the deformation tends to subtract importance from the object it is not, as some claim, with the deliberate intention of monstrosity. No, deformation is necessary to change the meaning of the image, from mere graphical representation into a metaphor. The artist can alter the actual strokes, always given that the alteration gives a new meaning to the forms. Thus the painter conducts us to an unreal continent in which each of its beings, even those that are fictions of inorganic masses, speak to us of human things. Of course, art cannot be absolute non-realism. The real is synonymous with the living. And an entirely fantastical art would be a dead thing that would not interest anyone. The artistic themes will keep being forms of real entities, or even the imaginary that man has incorporated into his world. Furthermore, what would art be if it accepted those ingredients without modification? Then it would be reality, not art, or what is worse, a shadow of reality. And, who would prefer imperfect images to authentic life? Art is found at the crossroads of two opposite tendencies that put it in conflict. If it pursues reality like its shadow it suffers a devaluation. If it becomes entirely unlifelike it loses its vitality. Through an instinct for preservation it has to accept a real content; yet at the same time rejecting the actual forms and imposing its own it fulfills the goal of art which is to create something new. Artistic morphology sufficiently illustrates this procedure. Each one of the pictorial elements recalls an object from nature; but the artist has deformed them to indicate that they do not allude to such an object, but to a certain feeling that is united to it. Despite that the external world does not work as an aesthetic norm, the artist works in accordance with an objective norm, even when not necessarily conscious. The proof is that, though the artistic elements were not traced "d'après nature," nor were they the work of individual taste, but instead of a sense of form common to all the people. In the sense of form the character of visible space must have some influence. The clarity of popular Mexican art is explained in part by the landscape of the Central Mesa. The transparency of the atmosphere defines with precision the outline of bodies and makes their volumes real. Nothing of infinite plains nor open horizons; the view always collides, when it looks broadly, with the eternal barrier of mountains brightly defining their limit with the sky in clear-cut undulations. Syntax, in the language of forms in popular Mexican art, consists in not crossing any of these lines. "There is nothing (in Mexican art) that is excessive or perplexing, or that is hidden or uselessly suggested; everything is in sight, everything impresses at once, everything is synthetically represented, everything lives its own life, and nevertheless, in relation with the nearby things that surround it, everything lives and harmonizes with the rest, as if one dealt with a musical chord; furthermore in each and every one of its insignificant details, some fundamental motives are recognized that cause us to feel they constitute the proper and genuine Mexican expression." The elemental artistic forms are the result of an accommodation between the geometric a priori artist's meaning and the spatial structure of the bodies that yield up to a certain limit. Thus a new category of forms is created that are not those of the material world nor those of pure geometry, but instead from a third kingdom, the kingdom of plastic forms, the language of painting. caricature. -- A little reflection suffices to note that caricature forms a distinct and independent genre from other arts of design. Yet this limit discovered at first glance seems to vanish moments later, when it is remembered that a part of the new painting is caricaturing. Then this problem of limits acquires importance, for it necessitates certain considerations touching upon new art. We shall investigate then what is peculiar about caricature. Of course we note that the caricaturist chooses his types, almost exclusively, among men in well-known roles: politicians, movie and theatre actors, famous writers, etc. What does this preference mean? Is it simply servility to popularity? No, it is that caricature only produces its comical effect when it is related to the original; without knowledge of this a caricature leaves us indifferent. All physiognomy can be schematized as a set of lines that capture the most invariable features and gestures of the subject. Their immutability is exactly what individualizes it and permits us to recognize them in the midst of changes of their physique. The most characteristic gestures and motions are at once the most involuntary and unconscious; they are such fatal habits that they tend to convert the individual into an automaton. Abstracting these traits, and maybe exaggerating them a little, as the caricaturist does, transforms the man into a doll. Thus Covarrubias has immobilized Harold Lloyd's shark's laugh; and Chaplin in the contraction of a mouth which no longer knows how to laugh. The comedy of caricature results from the contrast between the changing mobility of a person and the paradoxical impression of this same person detained in a movement that condemns them to perpetual repose. Caricature lives insofar as it is related to the object it represents. If this relation is lost, its significance is nullified. It seems to me that the subjection of caricature to the reality which engenders it is the trait that distinguishes it from painting. The painter also starts from a real being or event, yet when the work is concluded it proclaims its independence and establishes an autonomous value. Painting and caricature deform. But since caricature cannot depart from the model, its deformation has to accentuate the "resemblance"; deforming in order to approximate more a certain reality. The painter's deformation is, on the contrary, a protest against the real; she wishes to detach from the spectator's mind all idea of resemblance, inviting him to consider her work not as a portrait, but as a world apart that has its own life. Since caricature is among the arts of design the most affected by individuality, it can serve as a touchstone to estimate whether indeed this individuality comprises the essence of the art. For the Bergsonian aesthetic the artistic faculty is the gift of encountering the individuality in things. Yet if this were to constitute the artistic ideal, it is evident that caricature would be the most accomplished, a proposition that cannot be sustained. Precisely for being unable to detach from an absolute individuality, so absolute that it "has a date and will never re, cur," all caricature will tend to be devalued, one day, to a biographical document. Not so with painting, which subsists thanks to its indifference to the singular conditions accompanying its birth, which soon disappear effaced by historical becoming. Reflect for a moment upon the data for an evaluation--aesthetic, moral and even economic--and recognize that one cannot dispense with the datum "duration." Caricature has the instantaneity of the pure present, while the fate of the existence of the pictorial works to a determinate human sensibility is commonly lasting. Naturally the objective individuality that we negate as a goal of art should not be confused with the personality which makes of each work a unique invention and of each artist an inimitable being. It is a fact that art has represented beings in their concrete individuality. Yet if the artist proposed that exclusively, she would fall into the error, so often condemned, of imitating nature. The history of art demonstrates that that which artists have always sought, from the primitives to the contemporary, are certain abstract forms obtained from the individual which constitute the common skeleton of very varied objects. Recall the constant elements in the diverse plastic works from a single people, viz.: the elements of Mexican art. The analysis of cubism should be cited in addition to this proposition. Precisely to liberate itself from impressionism in its naturalistic aspect the new painters have had to strip things of their individuality remaining only with certain generic forms that suggest nature, yet now modified by man. To the artist reality in itself does not matter, but instead reality as the track imprinted by the human spirit.
DANCE The current supremacy of dance among artistic spectacles has a simple psychological reason: it produces pure aesthetic enjoyment in the spectator. One could ask whether the emotion produced by another art such as drama represents enjoyment or perhaps something very different. The answer would be that the attraction in drama is not the joy, but instead the excitation of the feelings and passions it provokes. Feelings and passions that do not differ from what is produced or should be produced by life if social conventions did not impede them. Thus it is that, through drama, the individual is not distracted from life; on the contrary, he procures one more intense than that which reality provides. Dramatic sentiments are alive with their respective affective tones when they are authentic; pleasure, pain, heartache, hope... Now these emotions are not purely artistic, for life too can provide them. The only feeling that life cannot give is aesthetic enjoyment, and dance is the art which can achieve it. However, a dramatic work provides, at times, joy when the scene refers to history or its situation falls under the symbolism of myth and legend. What is important for enjoyment to exist is to distance ourselves from the actual existence and change its conditions; a requirement which dance realizes naturally by nature. Whatever may be the ideality of dramatic conflicts they always have to manifest themselves in forms resembling habitual practical action. While the content of dance is ideal, its expression take entirely different forms from everyday action. This does not mean that dance is made from artifice. For aesthetic emotion to exist it is necessary for fantasy, however unreal it may be, to give us the impression of a possible world given human conditions. When art trespasses this limit of verisimilitude, its influence over our sensibility terminates. Dance could not achieve its extreme idealism were it not for the intervention of the human body in the choreographic expression. Dance has the fantasy of a fairy tale; yet our contentment would not be so intense if we did not see this new world incarnated in living beings. The body of the ballerina is saying that however ideal the meaning of the Dance is it has to materialize in the human forms. When we attend a ballet, the human body changes for us in meaning. It stops being a machine and becomes a language of forms and of rhythms. What is curious about dance is that the strange movements of the body do not seem artificial; we feel that they display a natural impulse. The happiness of the ballerina, which is communicated to the spectators, is the happiness of a liberation. Liberation of the body from the mechanism of work, in order to regenerate in a spontaneous action. The free man re-appears, after breaking with the useful corporeal activity that has mechanized one's movements. The ballet dancer does not create a new man. He simply removes from man the mask with which social life disfigures him and exposes his primitive self. We experience a great delight in seeing this Adam free that all furiously resolve to be. There is in every one of the movements of the dancer a rebellion that overcomes all our sympathies. I believe that artistic purity can be obtained without leaving the human. Dance is a model of this purity because it reconciles, in a perfect unity, two apparently contradictory tendencies: the least reality with the greatest "naturalness" possible. Disguised as fantasy dance rescues for a moment the natural woman who lies buried beneath a thick crust of civilization.

ESSENCE OF ART'S FUNCTION IN HUMAN LIFE Whoever has attentively read the pages of this book will not have found a conclusive doctrine that exhausts the multiple aspects of aesthetics, yet will however encounter a ruling thought in the interpretation of the problems treated, a single spirit that underlies the theses which are asserted. That spirit has consisted in avoiding any rigid or unilateral doctrine that would be inadequate to encompass the unlimited mobility of art. Consciousness of the innumerable artistic forms throughout history should not be limited to Aesthetics, so as not to falsify the concept of art by trying to reduce these facts to the unity of a single theory. This theory has to be sufficiently broad and elastic to accommodate itself to the fluidity and multiplicity of the artistic life. The ideas that comprise this book start from the assumption that art constitutes an autonomous sphere within the culture with its own ends and values. But, however, do not suppose that that sphere would be an entity closed to external communication; on the contrary, it is equipped with openings through which circulates a back and forth movement toward the other realms of culture and life. In one sense, it is requisite to exactly delimit the proper domain of art, yet with the recognition that such a domain remain included in the complex of human existence. We consider in this study that the proper object of Aesthetics is the phenomenon of art as it is manifested in the world of culture. The aesthetic phenomenon possesses two faces or gradients, one which views the subject and the other the artistic object. It is essential to study it then as much separately in each one of these aspects, as in their mutual relations. Art, more than a theoretical or contemplative activity is an expressive activity productive of the spirit. That which is produced is the artwork which upon being contemplated by the spectators tends to provoke the same processes that originated it. An artistic creation is explained as the result of a psychic structure or complex in which are integrated different members whose function is interdependent yet in solidarity, remaining subordinate to the finality of the set. That which characterizes a functional structure like this is that the whole cannot be explained as the sum of its parts. The total result in a certain way transcends that sum. An analysis of that structure would reveal that all the elements of the human psyche take part in it. There is a complete removal of its parts in the creative process, in order to organically align in accord with a certain fundamental direction. To speak of an organ or faculty of creation is only to use a common twist of the language, for such an organ is the entire consciousness which in the moment of creation is projected integrally towards the goal that the artist proposes. One can highlight, nevertheless, the prominent role played by certain specific functions like sensory perception, the memory, fantasy, taste, etc. The motive for the creation is the artistic will that also involves governance of the creative process. In this direction of the spirit lies the essence of art. Its meaning is to establish unity among the multiple manifestations of art. What that direction of the spirit uniformly has is its indifference to the truth or reality of things and its proposition to re- create itself in the representation of beautiful apparitions. Yet, what is the beauty of these appearances? It is, undoubtedly, a certain ideal perfection adequate to elevate our vital feelings to a freer existence more in conformity with the values of the spirit. Art within human life is one of the instruments of salvation. It might be thought that this idea is only justified when it starts from a negative position before life. That then only the man who still has not been able to understand and enjoy the values of life needs art, or she who has been deceived by them and been converted to a pessimist. Like the primitive, ancient or modern, who finds compensation in abstract beauty for feelings of insecurity experienced before the random and changing aspect of nature's phenomena. Or like the civilized man for whom "only as an aesthetic phenomenon can existence and the the world be eternally 'justified' (Nietzsche). But the saving function of art is to be explained not only by a rotund negation of the values of life. Even for those not in disagreement with it, living implies a tension in the human being whose will and intelligence has to strain in practical, moral, emotional, et cetera relations. Everyday life is work and struggle, worry and anguish, and also routine and boredom. Mankind's limited power, the restrictions imposed on one's life make him always a dissatisfied being. From the tension of life a need for rest emerges that art can fill with the free play of its representations and, furthermore, its unlimited capacity for fiction is capable of giving imaginary satisfaction to the unrealized aspirations of the will. Art is the revelation of an unknown spiritual life for all those who do not have the profound and original vision of the artist. Human reality is transfigured by the magic of art, at the same time those profound aspects acquire conscience and plenitude which lie sleeping beneath the cloak of everyday interests. Art is not, then, a luxury and a superfluity, nor an activity divergent from life either. Art only separates from life in order to elevate it and enrich it; it causes a return to the latter to clarify its meaning. The revelation of the spiritual life, the elevation and enrichment of its values, do not convert art into science or philosophy. Art performs this work, not by means of concepts, but instead in its way, by means of concrete images. It goes beyond philosophy or science, because it is not subject to the norm of real facts and can move freely upon the plane of fiction. It has more power over one than do the abstract ideals of a social, political or moral doctrine, for the values it represents it proposes in concrete and living forms that do not demand and command. Its influence over man proceeds solely from the attractive force of beauty. In this sense art is a powerful instrument of education in formative virtues for one who possesses it. Art is not, then, only a resource for salvation. It is rest and consolation, it is liberation within appearance and revelation of the spiritual life to an intuition which does not appeal to reason, but instead to the evidence of the sentiments. It is "Catharsis" of the passions and an object to fulfill unsatisfied aspirations. Art is the fruit of a human creation, and in turn promotes creation of the human. Therefore perhaps, it is a fount of happiness because it always creates and re-creates the man. The true artist is one of the most striking examples of human personality, due to the plastic power of artistic feeling. Plato's profound artistic sense aspires to utilize the ideal of beauty so as to make an artwork of mankind. One notices in his reflections on beauty that the artwork interests him very little. What matters is the formation of man. Just as his concept of justice is a sort of harmony among the powers of the soul, the type of the just man coincides with the idea of a beautiful soul. The artistic personality has as a nucleus an aesthetic feeling of life that attains its plenitude when the artist is not merely an artist, but a man in the wide connotation of the word. There is always a correlation between the personality type, the style and the conception of art. The artwork once produced proclaims its independence and acquires its own existence which survives the author. By means of the work of art some fragment of reality is saved from the flux of time. An event in the real world, a state of the soul, a moment in life or its overall plot, et cetera, cease being perishable when art translates them to a non-temporal plane. The spectator enjoys art, among other reasons, because she has the intuition that what is there represented has conquered destruction and mortality and now possesses a value of eternity. In modern man art can be a remedy to attenuate or cure his metaphysical anguish before nothingness. Art is the veil of Maya that is pulled over reality to convert it into illusion, yet without losing the consciousness of that reality. In order to achieve the profound feeling from the art it is indispensable to maintain a clear notion of the difference between illusion and reality. All confusion in this respect will detract from the true aesthetic position. The key to the aesthetic disposition is in knowing how to voluntarily accept this play which causes our feelings of reality to jump towards illusion and those of illusion toward reality. In this back and forth movement, from one point to another, lies the phenomenological essence of art. If we imagine that this movement can be arrested to focus consciousness on either of the two points, the aesthetic phenomenon would then be nullified.

ART AND SOCIETY One of the motifs that is frequently repeated in this book is that art constitutes the liberation of something repressed in our spirit. It is evident that this interpretation has nothing to do with Freud's psychological doctrine. In any event that theory implies that normally there is something repressed in man. And then one might ask, what is the thing that is repressed? The answer to this question can only refer to the most general human situation. It can be affirmed that the imagination and the feelings are repressed in almost all subjects, because of the perturbations that those activities posit occasioned by normal life. Many ideal desires and aspirations are found repressed because they have no place in real life, are incompatible with it. The entire circle of sentiments, desires, tastes, ideas that constitute our true personality, "the deep I," is also found repressed because, except in special cases, it is not an approved element in the practical needs which, on the contrary, demand the intervention of "the social I." As is seen, the repressed activities in the normal man are not pure instinctive tendencies, but activities that are oriented to higher goals and which explains why art, being a liberation of repressions, nevertheless represents a function which tends toward the ideal. To comprehend the profound function of art in human life, it is indispensable to take account of the spiritual situation of the individual in her existence within society. The social equilibrium constantly demands from the individuals a sacrifice of certain necessities and self-interests that do not find acceptance and accommodation among the conventions of normal conduct. And I do not refer only to the egotistical impulses which the individual feels obliged to contain for moral or simply social reasons. Beside them there also exist other impulses whose satisfaction can be considered as perfectly legitimate and even of superior value to the others yet which, due to the very character of the social structure, must remain submerged in service to the general interest. What happens is that the framework of social life into which everyone's activity must fit considerably reduces the circle of individual action. It is the case, for instance, of the phenomenon called division of labor that it leads to ever more specialized individual activity. This situation allows the individuals to satisfy their needs and lend their social cooperation through the exercise of a single isolated activity. If this represents for her an enormous advantage, given that it only demands partial skill, in another sense it gives her the impression of only living half-heartedly, since other of her potentialities remain inactive without any means to apply them. Fortunately life offers fields in which the individual can compensate for those limits of specialization such as to benefit one's physical and spiritual health. Precisely among these fields art is found. That which at first sight leaves the leveling tendencies of social life idle in the subject is the set of potentialities that comprise the nucleus of the individual personality. It is not that society obstructs the development of the personality in a radical fashion, though this is one of its constitutive elements when it is manifested as a controlling factor towards ends of collective utility, or when it is productive and creative. Yet except for these cases, when the personality tries to manifest itself to satisfy a will to individual affirmation in opposition to the typology of current life, then it appears as an anti-social force. Clearly these manifestations of personality are only truly anti-social if they do not offer an improvement over what is established and answer only to an individual egotism. Now then, the restlessness of the authentic personality only exists in those individuals who are possessors of a singular spirit of which they become more or less conscious through well- defined tastes and preferences, modes of thinking, feeling or acting different from those which are manifested in the majority of subjects. The progress of the culture tends in general to favor this individual diversification. The phenomenon should be considered as inherent to the development of human nature. Inasmuch as in the vegetable and animal world life tends toward uniformity of individual types, one could say that the most exclusively human values tend to differentiate in their individual realizations. Nevertheless, it is these human values that tend to be drowned out in social life. In effect, personality is an unnecessary factor for efficiency in the labors performed in the different branches of human activity, with the exception of intellectual work. When we speak of a social law which makes the intervention of human personality useless, we continue to think that that law is perhaps not inexorable as occurs with natural laws, but instead simply an historical accident derived from the defects of our civilization. In principle one could imagine a possible social organization which, conserving the advantages of rational planning wherein work divides into ever more detailed specialties, did not lead to mechanical uniformity of the individuals, and can capture the changing values of man. But in fact, in our current reality those human values remain underground beneath the rigid norms imposed by the material structuring of life. The truth is that the very life of the human soul cannot have an adequate milieu in which to expand beneath the material and prosaic tone of everyday existence. While education and culture tend to stimulate the valuable potentialities in mankind, practical life leaves them inactive until the preponderance of material interests extinguish them. When one speaks then, of repressions in mankind, one need not think exclusively of eagerness for pleasure (Freud's libido) or of ambitions for domination and power, but also of other spiritual potentialities that, for lack of opportunities in real life, suffer from apparent inhibition. Many individuals are ignorant of this condition they suffer, and others more intelligent and more cultured become conscious of it and then the discontent with life appears. However, the same dissatisfaction exists in everybody although they possess diverse possibilities of resolving it. When a desire is repressed for any reason, the imagination awakens to weave make-believe scenes that represent the satisfaction of that desire. In general, the imagination works when the individual enters upon inaction, when the practical tension is relaxed. There is, so to speak, an incompatibility between action and the imagination. At the moment when man works, his consciousness is seen occupied with the real objects to which his action is applied and no room is left for other things. Work is barely suspended and the worries relating to it cease, leaving consciousness vacant so that imagination can take flight in it. We have already explained elsewhere how in general one mistrusts the imagination as a directive factor in practical conduct. For imagination and reality appear as two worlds estranged from one another. Yet in any event they are bordering worlds, because where reality ends there imagination begins. The function that the latter plays with respect to repressed desires is precisely to offer an imaginary satisfaction where it is not possible to actually obtain the desired object. Because of including fantasy art is capable of producing a similar action, offering us in image the values of the perfection which our spirit laments not finding in the facts or in the real beings that she knows. This aesthetic artifice is what has been called idealization. From the point of view of repressions the artist operates like an escape valve that permits discharging the spiritual tensions originating in collective life. Thus, for example, the interests of a dominant group impose censure for telling the truth politically or socially, under certain determinate circumstances in the history of a nation. Such a situation determines the accumulation of passions that maintain popular restlessness and discontent. In these moments a dramatist, a novelist, a poet, can become spokespersons for the collective sentiment and discharge its tensions when they have the depth of vision and the courage to publicly draw back the veil which hid the truth. In conclusion, art can only be called useless if it conceives of life as reduced to the narrow framework of practical interests. However fundamental those may be, it is certain that the person will not remain satisfied when they have sought to provide satisfaction yet always aspire to restrict the scope to their mere material existence. Therefore all peoples large or small, poor or rich, primitive or civilized possess their art and could not persist without it. If we imagine for a moment that art were to disappear from the face of the planet, if there were no poetry, nor music, nor painting, if it were not possible to have our houses decorated, giving form and colors that made the objects of use and the things that surround us pleasurable to the sight, life would be sad and desolate, because it would lack one of the essential elements for our happiness. The necessity that humankind feels for art demonstrates that its existence should be broadly envisioned, including in it as an inseparable and essential part the activity of spirit which is what gives life its dignity and value. Whatever may be the condition and the level of the life of a man, art always ennobles and gladdens it; thus it constitutes a reason to live.
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