Tag Archives: nature

Stories and Nature

“The subject-matter of fiction is stored up likewise in documents and records, and if it will not tie itself away, as they say in California, it must speak with assurance, with the tone of the historian.” (James 574)

James is saying stories come from experience and when writing a story, the reader must dig into those stored “documents” in order to have a self worthy story.

James, Henry. Henry James: Major Stories and Essays. New York: Penguin, 1984. Print.

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“CYRIL. Well, you need not look at the landscape. You can lie on the grass and smoke and talk.”

A lesson comes from hearing and listening (or in this case reading) to a conversation! Cyril says look past everything, you can sit down and enjoy it, but make sure you look past structures to really understand what makes something. .. Does nature equal art?

The Decay of Lying. Oscar Wilde. The Victorian Web. Victorian Web, 21 April. 2008. Web. 8 Sept. 2013. ‹http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/wilde/decay.html>.

ART

Art lives upon discussion, upon
experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt,
upon the exchange of views and the comparison of
standpoints ; and there is a presumption that those
times when no one has anything particular to say
about it, and has no reason to give for practice or
preference, though they may be times of honour, are
not times of development are times, possibly even,
a little of dulnes.

Henry James, “The Art of Fiction.”In Partial Portraits.New York: Macmillan 1894.376.

Notes: Art thrives under uncertainty,Presumption that Art thrives under Madness, Personified as having human characteristics
How does society develop ?

When I look at a landscape I cannot help
seeing all its defects.

Wilde,Oscar.”The Decay of Lying.”In intentions.NewYork:Brentano’s,1905.4.

Notes: Comparison, Faults, Special education, The human form,

Viewpoints

“And then Nature is so indifferent, so unappreciative. Whenever I am walking in the park here, I always feel that I am no more to her than the cattle that browse on the slope, or the burdock that blooms in the ditch. Nothing is more evident than that Nature hates the Mind.”

-Wilde, Oscar. The Decay of Lying. New York: Bertano’s, 1905. 9-10. Web. <http://archive.org/details/partialportraits00jameiala>.

Notes: Humans are self absorbed, Nature is always giving

 

“Art lives upon discussion, upon experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt, upon the exchange of views and the comparison of standpoints; and there is a presumption that those times when no one has anything particular to say about it, and has no reason to give for practice or preference, though they may be times of genius, are not times of development, are times possibly even, a little, of dullness.”

-James, Henry. “The Art of Fiction.” Longman’s Magazine 4 Sept. 1884: n. pag. Web. <http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/artfiction.html>.

Notes: living, malleable, purposeful

I Wasn’t Expecting a Dialogue

People tell us that Art makes us love Nature more than we loved her before; that it reveals her secrets to us; and that after a careful study of Corot and Constable we see things in her that had escaped our observation. My own experience is that the more we study Art the less we care for Nature. What art really reveals to us is Nature’s lack of design, her curious crudities, her extraordinary monotony, her absolutely unfinished condition. Nature has good intentions, of course, but, as Aristotle once said, she cannot carry them out. When I look at a landscape I cannot help seeing all its defects. It is fortunate for us, however, that nature is so imperfect, as otherwise we should have had no art at all. Art is our spirited protest, our gallant attempt to teach Nature her proper place.

Oscar Wilde, “The Decay of Lying,” in Intentions (New York: Bretano’s, 1905), 1.

Notes: public versus personal opinion. Nature = Nothing. Art = All.

Why are we fortunate to have Art if Art’s only purpose is to protest Nature? If Nature were perfect, then there would be no need to protest. Wouldn’t it be better to not have a problem with anything? …If Nature were perfect would there still be Art? If so, then would it reflect Nature’s beauty and therefore make us love it more?

 

If Nature had been comfortable, mankind would never have invented architecture, and prefer houses to the open air. In a house we all feel of the proper proportions. Everything is subordinated to us, fashioned for our use and our pleasure. Egotism itself, which is so necessary to a proper sense of human dignity, is entirely the result of indoor life.

Notes: fixing Nature. Overriding Nature. Nature = less, a mistake. Art = more, wanted, appreciated, sensible, sophisticated, “proper,” better, purposeful.

The Indoors, Architecture, and Art itself create a new Natural state of mind — Egotism. Art is creating things Naturally — better than Nature can. Better because it is wanted, not wild.

Oscar Wilde, “The Decay of Lying,” 1.