"Chaos is the law of nature and order is the dream of man, and the imposition of order on a corner of chaos is the function -- or illusion -- of art…"
"Ideology is the science of idiots."
"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
"Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one."
"Art is permitted to survive only if it renounces the right to be different, and integrates itself into the omnipotent realm of the profane."
--THEODOR W. ADOMO
"As a whole part of "psychological education" it needs to be remembered that a neurosis can be valuable; also that "adjustment" to a sick and insane environment is of itself not "health" but sickness and insanity."
"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."
"I had always loved beautiful and artistic things, though before leaving America I had had a very little chance of seeing any."
"The test of every religious, political, or educational system is the man that it forms."
"Art is a deliberate recreation of a new and special reality that grows from your response to life. It cannot be copied; it must be created."
"Observe your enemies, for they first find out your faults."
"Without poets, without artists, people would soon weary of nature's monotony. The sublime idea men have of the universe would collapse with dizzying speed. The order which we find in nature, and which is only an effect of art, would at once vanish. Everything would break up in chaos. There would be no season, no civilizations, no thought, no humanity; even life would give way, and the impotent void would reign everywhere."
"We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject. For both have labored in the search for truth and both have helped us in the finding of it."
--ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
"The purpose of art is not a rarified, intellectual distillate--it is life, intensified, brilliant life."
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."
"Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well."
"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth."
"Wit is educated insolence."
"What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies."
"In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action."
"No one will dare maintain that it is better to do injustice than to bear it."
"No poet or novelist wishes he was the only one who had ever lived, but most of them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe their wish has been granted."
"All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work "comes" to him."
--W. H. AUDEN
top of page next