dasa bausova – ART

mediocrity

20.03.2009 (8:01 pm) – Filed under: literature ::

Somerset Maugham  Of Human Bondage pg 274

“There is nothing so degrading as the constant anxiety about one’s means of livelihood. I have nothing but contempt for the people who despise money. They are hypocrites or fools. Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five. Without an adequate income half the possibilities of life are shut off. The only thing to be careful about is that you do not pay more than a shilling for the shilling you earn. You will hear people say that poverty is the best spur to the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their flesh. They do not know how mean it makes you. It exposes you to endless humiliation, it cuts your wings, it eats into your soul like a cancer. It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank, and independent. I pity with all my heart the artist, whether he writes or paints, who is entirely dependent for subsistence upon his art.”

Philip quietly put away the various things which he had shown.

“I’m afraid that sounds as if you didn’t think I had much chance.”

Monsieur Foinet slightly shrugged his shoulders.

“You have a certain manual dexterity. With hard work and perseverance there is no reason why you should not become a careful, not incompetent painter. You would find hundreds who painted worse than you, hundreds who painted as well. I see no talent in anything you have shown me. I see industry and intelligence. You will never be anything but mediocre.”

Philip obliged himself to answer quite steadily.

“I’m grateful to you for having taken so much trouble. I can’t thank you enough.”

Monsieur Foinet got up and made as if to go, but he changed his mind, and stopping, put his hand on Philip’s shoulder.

“But if you were to ask me my advice, I should say; take your courage in both hands and try your luck at something else. It sounds very hard, but let me tell you this; I would give all I have in the world if someone has given me that advice when I was your age and I had taken it.”

Philip looked at him with surprise. The master forced his lips into a smile, but his eyes remained grave and sad.

“It is cruel to discover one’s mediocrity only when it is too late. It does not improve the temper.”

reality

28.02.2009 (2:17 pm) – Filed under: literature ::

W. Somerset Maugham   The Razor’s Edge  pg 269

“Reality. You can’t say what it is; you can only say what it isn’t. It’s inexpressible…It’s nowhere and everywhere. All things imply and depend upon it. It’s not a person, it’s not a thing, it’s not a cause. It has no qualities. It transcends permanence and change; whole and part, finite and infinite. It is eternal because its completeness and perfection are unrelated to time. It is truth and freedom.”

jesus fell

28.02.2009 (1:37 pm) – Filed under: literature ::

W. Somerset Maugham  The Razor’s Edge   pg 207

“D’you remember how Jesus was led into the wilderness and fasted forty days? Then, when he was a-hungered, the devil came to him and said: If thou be the son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But Jesus resisted the temptation. Then the devil set him on a pinnacle of the temple and said to him: If thou be the son of God, cast thyself down. For angels had charge of him and would bear him up. But again Jesus resisted. Then the devil took him into a high mountain and showed him the kingdoms of the world and said that he would give them to him if he would fall down and worship him. But Jesus said: Get thee hence, Satan. That’s the end of the story according to the good simple Matthew. But it wasn’t. The devil was sly and he came to Jesus once more and said: If thou wilt accept shame and disgrace, scourging, a crown of thorns and death on the cross, thou shalt save the human race, for greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Jesus fell. The devil laughed till his sides ached, for he knew the evil men would commit in the name of their redeemer.”