inspired unconsciousness

17 February, 2013 § Leave a comment

perhaps i have found the man who will help me understand Hannah Arendt.

“[E]very great composition is in perfect harmony with all true rules, and involves thousands too delicate for ear, or eye, or thought, to trace; still it is possible to reason, with infinite pleasure and profit, about these principles, when the thing is once done; only, all our reasoning will not enable any one to do another thing like it, because all reasoning falls infinitely short of the divine instinct. Thus we may reason wisely over the way a bee builds its comb, and be profited by finding out certain things about the angles of it. But the bee knows nothing about those matters. It builds its comb in a far more inevitable way. And, from a bee to Paul Veronese, all master-workers work with this awful, this inspired unconsciousness.”

– From Modern Painters III, “Of the True Ideal: Secondly, Naturalist’ by John Ruskin

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