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with it; that is to say, the right one possesses to deal with one's own household.

We do not, as a matter of fact, externalize and fix all of the many expressions and intuitions which we form in our mind; we do not declare our every thought in a loud voice, or write down, or print, or draw, or colour, or expose it to the public gaze. We select from the crowd of

intuitions which are formed or at least sketched within us; and the selection is governed by selection of the economic conditions of life and of its moral direction. Therefore, when we have formed an intuition, it remains to decide whether or no we should communicate it to others, and to whom, and when, and how; all of which considerations fall equally under the utilitarian and ethical criterion.

Thus we find the concepts of selection, of the interesting, of morality, of an educational end, of popularity, etc., to some extent justified, although these can in no wise be justified as imposed upon art as art, and we have ourselves denounced them in pure Esthetic. Error always contains an element of truth. He who formulated those erroneous æsthetic propositions had his eye on practical facts, which attach themselves externally to the æsthetic fact in economic and moral life.

By all means, be partisans of a yet greater liberty in the vulgarization of the means of æsthetic reproduction; we are of the same opinion, and let us leave the proposals for legislative measures, and for actions to be instigated against immoral art, to hypocrites, to the ingenuous, and to idlers. But the proclamation of this liberty, and the fixation of its limits, how wide soever they be, is always the affair of morality. And it would in any case be out of place to invoke that highest principle, that fundamentum Esthetices, which is the independence of art, in order to deduce from it the guiltlessness of the artist, who, in the externalization of his imaginings, should calculate upon the unhealthy tastes of his readers; or that licenses should be granted to the hawkers who sell obscene statuettes in the streets. This last case is the affair of the police; the first must be brought before the tribunal of the moral conscience. The æsthetic judgment on the work of art has nothing to do with the morality of the artist, in so far as he is a practical man, nor with the precautions to be taken that art may not be employed for evil purposes alien to its essence, which is pure theoretic contemplation.


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WHEN the entire æsthetic and externalizing process has been completed, when a beautiful expression has been produced and fixed in a definite physical material, what is meant by judging it? To reproduce it in oneself, answer the critics of art, almost with one voice. Very good. Let us try thoroughly to understand this fact, and with that object in view, let us represent it schematically.

The individual A is seeking the expression of an impression, which he feels or has a presentiment of, but has not yet expressed. Behold him trying various words and phrases, which may give the sought-for expression, which must exist, but which he does not know. He tries the combination m, but rejects it as unsuitable, inexpressive, incomplete, ugly: he tries the combination n, with a like result. He does not see anything, or he does not see clearly. The

expression still flies from him.

After other vain attempts, during which he sometimes approaches, sometimes leaves the sign that offers itself, all of a sudden (almost as though formed spontaneously of itself) he creates the sought-for expression, and lux facta est. He enjoys for an instant æsthetic pleasure or the pleasure of the beautiful. The ugly, with its correlative displeasure, was the æsthetic activity, which had not succeeded in conquering the obstacle; the beautiful is the expressive activity, which now displays itself triumphant.

We have taken this example from the domain of speech, as being nearer and more accessible, and because we all talk, though we do not all draw or paint. Now if another individual, whom we shall term B, desire to judge this expression and decide whether it be beautiful or ugly, he must of necessity place himself at A's point of view, and go through the whole process again, with the help of the physical sign, supplied to him by A. If A has seen clearly, then B (who has placed himself at A's point of view) will also see clearly and will find this expression beautiful. If A has not seen clearly, then B also will not see clearly, and will find the expression more or less ugly, just as A did.

It may be observed that we have not taken

Impossibility of into consideration two other cases: that of A divergences. having a clear and B an obscure vision; and that of A having an obscure and B a clear vision. Philosophically speaking, these two cases are impossible.


Spiritual activity, precisely because it is activity, is not a caprice, but a spiritual necessity; and it cannot solve a definite æsthetic problem, save in one way, which is the right way. Doubtless certain facts may be adduced, which appear to contradict this deduction. works which seem beautiful to artists, are judged to be ugly by the critics; while works with which the artists were displeased and judged imperfect or failures, are held to be beautiful and perfect by the critics. But this does not mean anything, save that one of the two is wrong either the critics or the artists, or in one case the artist and in another the critic. In fact, the producer of an expression does not always fully realize what has happened in his soul. Haste, vanity, want of reflexion, theoretic prejudices, make people say, and sometimes others almost believe, that works of ours are beautiful, which, if we were truly to turn inwards upon ourselves, we should see ugly, as they really are. Thus poor Don Quixote, when he

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