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

For although its productions are painted poems, they belong to a sort of poetry which tells itself without an articulated story.

Our education becomes complete in proportion as our susceptibility to these impressions increases in depth and variety.

With this sense of the splendor of our experience and of its awful brevity, gathering all we are into one desperate effort to see and touch, we shall hardly have time to make theories about the things we see and touch.

For art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments' sake.

Philosophical theories or ideas, as points of view, instruments of criticism, may help us to gather up what might otherwise pass unregarded by us.

Great passions may give us a quickened sense of life, ecstasy and sorrow of love, the various forms of enthusiastic activity, disinterested or otherwise, which comes naturally to many of us.

She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants, and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as Saint Anne, the mother of Mary; and all this has been to her but as the sound of lyres and flutes, and lives only in the delicacy with which it has molded the changing lineaments, and tinged the eyelids and the hands.

He seemed to those about him as one listening to a voice, silent for other men.

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.

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