Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Osip Mandelstam

A phenomenon to the tenth power

leave a comment »

Amidst the immense emotional excitement surrounding works of art, it is desirable that talk about art be marked by the greatest restraint. For the immense majority, a work of art is enticing only insofar as it illuminates the artist’s perception of the world. For the artist, however, his perception of the world is a tool and an instrument, like a hammer in the hands of a stonemason, and the only thing that is real is the work itself.

To live is the artist’s highest self-esteem. He wants no other paradise than being, and when he’s told about reality, he only smiles bitterly, because he knows the infinitely more convincing reality of art. The spectacle of a mathematician proclaiming the square of a ten-digit number without stopping to think about it fills us with a certain astonishment. Too often, however, we overlook the fact that the poet raises a phenomenon to its tenth power, and the modest exterior of a work of art often deceives us concerning the prodigiously condensed reality that it possesses.

Osip Mandelstam, Selected Essays

Written by nevalalee

September 30, 2018 at 7:30 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

Tagged with

Quote of the Day

leave a comment »

Osip Mandelstam

To exist is the artist’s greatest pride. He desires no other paradise than existence…Love the existence of the thing more than the thing itself and your own existence more than yourself.

Osip Mandelstam, “The Morning of Acmeism”

Written by nevalalee

May 24, 2016 at 7:30 am

Quote of the Day

leave a comment »

Written by nevalalee

December 30, 2011 at 8:00 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

Tagged with

%d bloggers like this: