‘Hotch-Potch of the Pure and the Impure’

Some of my most compelling reading is that which others do for me. Here is a quotation shared with me today by a blogger who consumes more good literature than I can shake a stick at.

“…that there is no essential difference between beauty and ugliness; that they overlap and intermingle in a quite inextricable manner; that there is no saying where one begins and the other ends; that hideaousness grimaces at you suddenly from the very bosom of loveliness, and beauty blooms before your eyes in the lap of vileness; that it is a waste of wit to nurse metaphysical distinctions and a sadly meagre entertainment to caress imaginary lines; that the thing to aim at is the expressive and the way to reach it is by ingenuity; that for this purpose everything may serve, and that a consummate work is a sort of hotch-potch of the pure and the impure, the graceful and the grotesque.”

Henry James. Shared by https://outsideauthor.wordpress.com.

It’s from Henry James’s “Roderick Hudson,” and has a glorious eloquence about art-making. “Caress imaginary lines” raises me out of my chair.

(c) 2021 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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