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the distinctions made after reflexion have nothing to do with art.
The theory of the aesthetic senses has also been presented in another way; that is to say, as the attempt to establish what physiological organs are necessary for the æsthetic fact. The physiological organ or apparatus is nothing but a complex of cellules, thus and thus constituted, thus and thus disposed; that is to say, it is merely physical and natural fact or concept. But expression does not recognize physiological facts. Expression has its point of departure in the impressions, and the physiological path by which these have found their way to the mind is to it altogether indifferent. One way or another amounts to the same thing: it suffices that they are impressions.
It is true that the want of given organs, that is, of given complexes of cells, produces an absence of given impressions (when these are not obtained by another path by a kind of organic compensation). The man born blind cannot express or have the intuition of light. But the impressions are not conditioned solely by the organ, but also by the stimuli which operate upon the organ. Thus, he who has never had the impression of the sea will never be able to express
it, in the same way as he who has never had the
Another corollary of the conception of expres- Unity and sion as activity is the indivisibility of the work of of the work of art. Every expression is a unique expression. Activity is a fusion of the impressions in an organic whole. A desire to express this has always prompted the affirmation that the work of art should have unity, or, what amounts to the same thing, unity in variety. Expression is a synthesis of the various, the multiple, in the one.
The fact that we divide a work of art into parts, as a poem into scenes, episodes, similes, sentences, or a picture into single figures and objects, background, foreground, etc., may seem to be an objection to this affirmation. But such division annihilates the work, as dividing the organism into heart, brain, nerves, muscles and
so on, turns the living being into a corpse. It is true that there exist organisms in which the division gives place to more living things, but in such a case, and if we transfer the analogy to the æsthetic fact, we must conclude for a multiplicity of germs of life, that is to say, for a speedy re-elaboration of the single parts into new single expressions.
It will be observed that expression is sometimes based on other expressions. There are simple and there are compound expressions. One must admit some difference between the eureka, with which Archimedes expressed all his joy after his discovery, and the expressive act (indeed all the five acts) of a regular tragedy. Not in the least expression is always directly based on impressions. He who conceives a tragedy puts into a crucible a great quantity, so to say, of impressions: the expressions themselves, conceived on other occasions, are fused together with the new in a single mass, in the same way as we can cast into a smelting furnace formless pieces of bronze and most precious statuettes. Those most precious statuettes must be melted in the same way as the formless bits of bronze, before there can be a new statue. The old expressions must descend again to the level of
impressions, in order to be synthetized in a new
By elaborating his impressions, man frees Art as the himself from them. By objectifying them, he removes them from him and makes himself their superior. The liberating and purifying function of art is another aspect and another formula of its character of activity. Activity is the deliverer, just because it drives away passivity.
This also explains why it is customary to attribute to artists alike the maximum of sensibility or passion, and the maximum insensibility or Olympic serenity. Both qualifications agree, for they do not refer to the same object. The sensibility or passion relates to the rich material which the artist absorbs into his psychic organism; the insensibility or serenity to the form with which he subjugates and dominates the tumult of the feelings and of the passions.
ART AND PHILOSOPHY
Indissolubility THE two forms of knowledge, æsthetic and intel
from intuitive lectual or conceptual, are indeed diverse, but this does not amount altogether to separation and disjunction, as we find with two forces going each its own way. If we have shown that the æsthetic form is altogether independent of the intellectual and suffices to itself without external
support, we have not said that the intellectual can stand without the aesthetic. This reciprocity would not be true.
What is knowledge by concepts? It is knowledge of relations of things, and those things are intuitions. Concepts are not possible without intuitions, just as intuition is itself impossible without the material of impressions. Intuitions are this river, this lake, this brook, this rain, this glass of water; the concept is: water, not this or that appearance and particular example of water, but water in general, in whatever time.