Walter Pater, fully Walter Horatio Pater

Walter
Pater, fully Walter Horatio Pater
1839
1894

English Essayist, Critic of Art and Literature and Writer of Fiction

Author Quotes

Such discussions help us very little to enjoy what has been well done in art or poetry, to discriminate between what is more and what is less excellent in them, or to use words like beauty, excellence, art, poetry, with a more precise meaning than they would otherwise have.

He... preferred always the more to the less remote, what, seeming exceptional, was an instance of law more refined.

That sense of a life in natural objects, which in most poetry is but a rhetorical artifice, was, then, in Wordsworth the assertion of what was for him almost literal fact.

How shall we pass most swiftly; from point to point, and be present always at the focus where the greatest number of vital forces unite in their purest energy? To maintain this ecstasy is success in life.

The aim of a true philosophy must lie, not in futile efforts towards the complete accommodation of man to circumstances in which he chances to find himself, but in the maintenance of a kind of candid discontent, in the face of the very highest achievement.

I hope we don't lose in America this demand that those of us who want this office must be prepared not to handle the 10-second gimmick that deals, say, with little things like war and peace.

The ideal examples of poetry and painting being those in which the constituent elements of the composition are so welded together, that the material or subject no longer strikes the intellect only; nor the form, the eye or the ear only; but form and matter, in their union or identity, present one single effect.

In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes two persons, things, situations, seem alike.

The Renaissance of the fifteenth century was, in many things, great rather by what it designed that by what it achieved.

It is always hazardous to express what one has to say indirectly and allusively.

The service of philosophy, of speculative culture, towards the human spirit, is to rouse, to startle it to a life of constant and eager observation.

A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a variegated, dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is to be seen in them by the finest senses?

A certain strangeness, something of the blossoming of the aloe, is indeed an element in all true works of art: that they shall excite or surprise us is indispensable.

All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music, because, in its ideal, consummate moments, the end is not distinct from the means, the form from the matter, the subject from the expression.

The ideal of asceticism represents moral effort as essentially sacrifice, the sacrifice of one part of human nature to another, that it may live the more completely in what survives of it.

Author Picture
First Name
Walter
Last Name
Pater, fully Walter Horatio Pater
Birth Date
1839
Death Date
1894
Bio

English Essayist, Critic of Art and Literature and Writer of Fiction