« IndietroContinua »
between the fact of passion and its physical manifestation.1 Artistic activity'' belongs to those human activities in which we presuppose the individual in its differentiation; it belongs equally to those activities developing essentially within themselves and not completing themselves in any external world. Art, therefore, is an immanent activity in which we presuppose differentiation." Internal, not practical: individual, not universal or logical.
But if art be one form of thought, there must be one Artistic truth form of thought in which identity is presupposed, and ^nte"ec'"a another in which difference is presupposed. We do not look for truth in poetry; or, rather, we do look for truth, but for one that is totally different from that objective truth to which there must correspond some being, either universal or individual (scientific and historical truth). "When a character in a poem is said to be devoid of truth, a slur is cast on the given poem; but if the character is said to be a pure invention, corresponding with no reality, that is quite a different matter." The truth of a poetic character consists in the coherence with which a single person's divers modes of thinking and acting are represented: even in portraits it is not an exact correspondence with an objective reality that makes the thing a work of art. From art and poetry "springs no iota of knowledge " (das Geringste vom Wissen); "it expresses but the truth of the single consciousness." There are then " productions of thought and of sensible intuitions, opposed to the other productions because they do not presuppose identity, and they express the singular as such."2
The domain of art is immediate self-consciousness Difference of (unmittelbare Selbstbewusstsein), which must be carefully "^^°"" distinguished from the thought or concept of the ego from feeling or of the determinate ego. This latter is the conscious- and relt^onness of identity in the diversity of moments; immediate self-consciousness is " diversity itself, of which one must
1 Varies. iib. Asth. pp. 55-61. * Op. cit. pp. 61-66; cf. Dialektik, ed. Halpern, pp. 54-55, 67.
Dreams and art: inspiration and deliberation.
be aware, since life in its entirety is but the development of consciousness." In this domain art has often been confused with two facts which accompany it: sensuous consciousness (the feeling of pleasure and pain), and religion. A double confusion, of which the sensationalists fall into the first half and Hegel into the second; Schleiermacher clears it up by proving that art is free productivity, whereas sensuous pleasure and religious feeling, however different in other ways, are both determined by an objective fact (aussere Sein).1
The better to understand this free productivity, we must further circumscribe the domain of immediate consciousness. In this we can find nothing more helpful than comparing it with the images produced by dreams. The artist has his own dreams: he dreams with open eyes, and from among the thick-thronging images of this dream-state those having sufficient energy alone become works of art, the rest remaining a mere background from which the others stand out. All the essential elements of art are found in the dreamstate, which is the production of free thoughts and sensuous intuitions consisting of mere images. Certainly something is lacking in dreams, and they differ from art not only in their absence of technique, which has already been excluded as irrelevant to art, but in another way, viz. that a dream is a chaotic fact, without stability, order, connexion or measure. But when some sort of order is introduced into the chaos the difference at once disappears, and the likeness to art merges in identity. This internal activity which introduces order and measure, fixes and determines the image, is that which distinguishes art from a dream or transforms a dream into art. It often involves struggle, labour, the obligation to stem the involuntary flood of internal images; in a word, it means reflexion or deliberation. But the dream and the cessation of dreaming are equally indispensable elements of art. There must be production of thoughts and images and, together with such production, there must 1 Varies. iib. Asth. pp. 67-77.
be measure, determination and unity, "otherwise each image would be confused with its neighbour and have no definiteness." The instant of inspiration (Begeisterung) is as essential as that of deliberation (Besonnenheit).1
But in order to arrive at artistic truth it Is also Art and the necessary (here Schleiermacher's thought becomes less clear and accurate) that the singular be accompanied by consciousness of the species; consciousness of the self as individual man is impossible without consciousness of mankind; nor is a single object true unless referred to its universal. In a pictured landscape " every tree must possess natural truth, that is to say, it must be contemplated as a specimen of a given kind; similarly, the whole complex of natural and individual life must have effective truth of nature and constitute a single harmony. Just because in art we do not stnve after the production of individual figures in themselves and for themselves, but their internal truth as well, we commonly assign to them a high place as being a free realization of that in which all cognition has its value, that is to say, in the principle that all forms of being are inherent in the human spirit. If this principle fails, truth is no longer possible; scepticism only remains." The productions of art are the ideal or typical figures which real nature would create were it not impeded by external influences.2 "The artist creates a figure on the basis of a general scheme, rejecting whatever may hinder or impede the play of the living forces of reality; such a production, founded on a general scheme, is what we call the Ideal."3
In spite of all these determinations, Schleiermacher did not apparently intend to limit the artist's scope. He remarks, "When an artist represents something really given, whether portrait, landscape or single human figure, he renounces the freedom of productivity and adheres to the real." 4 There is a twofold tendency at work in the artist: towards perfection of type, and towards representation of natural reality. An artist must not fall into the abstractness of the type or into the unmeaningness of empirical reality.1 If in flower-painting it is necessary to bring out the specific type, a much more complete individualisation is demanded when representing man, owing to the lofty position which he occupies.2 Representation of the ideal in the real does not exclude "an infinite variety, such as is found in actual reality." "For instance, the human face wavers between the ideal and caricature, in its moral conformation no less than in its physical. Every human face contains elements of disfigurement (Verbildung), but it has also something by which it is a determinate modification of human nature; this does not appear openly, but a practised eye can seize it and ideally complete the face in question." 3 Schleiermacher is keenly aware of the difficulties and perplexities of such problems as the question whether there exists one or many ideals of the human face.4 He observes that the two views which strive for mastery in the field of poetry may be extended to art as a whole. Some assert that poetry and art should represent the perfect, the ideal, that which would have been produced by nature, had she not been prevented by mechanical forces; others reject the ideal as incapable of realisation and prefer that the artist should depict man as he really is, with those perturbing elements which in reality belong to him no less than his ideal qualities. Each view is a half-truth: it is the duty of art to represent the ideal as well as the real, the subjective as well as the objective.6 The comic element, that is the unideal and the faulty ideal, is included in the circle of art.6
1 Varies. Ob. Asth. pp. 79-91. * Op. cit. pp. 123, 143-150.
3 Op. cit. p. 505; of. p. 607. « Op. cit. p. 505.
independence In respect to morality, art is free just as philosophical
°fart' speculation is free: its essence excludes practical and
moral effects. This leads to the proposition that " there
is no difference between various works of art, except in so far as they can be compared in respect of artistic perfection" (Vollkommenheit in der Kunst). "Given an artistic object perfect of its kind, it has an absolute value which cannot be increased or diminished by anything else. If motions of the will could truly be described as consequences of works of art, a different standard of values would apply to works of art: and since the objects which an artist may depict are not all equally adapted to influence volition, a scale of values would exist which did not depend on artistic perfection." Nor must we confound the judgement passed upon the varied and complex personality of the artist himself with the strictly aesthetic judgement passed upon his work. "In this respect the biggest, most complicated canvas is on a level with the smallest arabesque, the longest poem with the shortest: the value of a work of art depends on the perfect manner in which the external corresponds to the internal." 1
1 Var1es. ub. Asth. pp. 506-508. 1 Op. cit. pp. 156-157.
3 Op. cit. pp. 550-551. * Op. cit. p. 608. • Op. cit. pp. 684-686. • Op. cit. pp. 191-196; cf. pp. 364-365.
Schleiermacher rejects the doctrine of Schiller because in his opinion it makes art a sort of game or pastime in contrast to the serious affairs of hie: a view, he says, for business men to whom their business is the only serious thing. Artistic activity is universally human, a man devoid of it is inconceivable; although, of course, there are in this respect great differences betwixt man and man, running from the mere desire to enjoy art to real taste, and from this again to productive genius.2
The artist makes use of instruments which, by their Art and nature, are framed not for the individual but for the universal; of this kind is language. But it is the business of poetry to extract the individual from language which is universal without giving to its productions the form of the antithesis between individual and universal which is proper to science. Of the two elements of language, the musical and the logical, the poet claims the first for his own ends and constrains the other to awaken individual images. In comparison with pure science as
1 Varies. ub. Asth. pp. 209-219; cf. pp. 527-528. * Op. cit. pp. 98-111.