The hostility to association of fine art with normal processes of living is a pathetic, even tragic, commentary on life as it is ordinarily lived.
The abbot raised his blind head, sniffed the air, and smiled. “The first part of the Ordeal of the Key,” he said, “is the nice cup of tea. Do you take sugar?”
“The sun is good because it does the body good, and because it has the sense to reappear every day; therefore, whatever returns is good, not what passes and is done with. The easiest way to return from where you’ve been without retracing your steps is to walk in a circle. The animal that coils in a circle is the serpent; that’s why so many cults and myths of the serpent exist, because it’s hard to represent the return of the sun by the coiling of a hippopotamus.”
“It is a singular thing, but I find that a concentrated atmosphere helps a concentration of thought. I have not pushed it to the length of getting into a box to think, but that is the logical outcome of my convictions.”
…theories which isolate art and its appreciation by placing them in a realm of their own, disconnected from other modes of experiencing, are not inherent in the subject-matter but arise because of specifiable extraneous conditions. Embedded as they are in institutions and in habits of life, these conditions operate effectively because they work so unconsciously. Then the theorist assumes they are embedded in the nature of things.
Our merchants and master manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods, both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits; they are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains; they complain only of those of other people.
Only while under the dominion of fear do men fall a prey to superstition.
quoted in The Portable Atheist
Life on Earth never settled down to doing anything very good. Science ran too far ahead of us too quickly, and the people got lost in a mechanical wilderness, like children making over pretty things, gadgets, helicopters, rockets; emphasizing the wrong items, emphasizing machines instead of how to run the machines.
No one other thing, probably, works so fatally against focusing the attention of teachers upon the training of mind as the domination of their minds by the idea that the chief thing is to get pupils to recite their lessons correctly. As long as this end is uppermost (whether consciously or unconsciously), training of mind remains an incidental and secondary consideration.
Many a person who protests against the museum conception of art, still shares the fallacy from which that conception springs. For the popular notion comes from a separation of art from the objects and scenes of ordinary experience that many theorists and critics pride themselves upon holding and even elaborating.