„Even an ordinary broken chord is made to disclose rare beauties; we are reminded of the fairies' hazelnuts in which diamonds were concealed but you could break the shell only if your hands were blessed.“

—  Neville Cardus, Of Rachmaninoff's playing; Manchester Guardian (1939)
Neville Cardus
1888 - 1975
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„Were they beautiful? We were all beautiful. We were in our twenties.“

—  Steve Martin American actor, comedian, musician, author, playwright, and producer 1945

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„It is the pain, it is the pain, endures.
Your chemic beauty burned my muscles through.
Poise of my hands reminded me of yours.“

—  William Empson English literary critic and poet 1906 - 1984
"Villanelle" (1928), line 1; cited from John Haffenden (ed.) The Complete Poems (London: Allen Lane, 2000) p. 33.

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„Recently I dreamed of you [of the artist Herman van der Weele and his wife] and that you two were very rich and lived in a beautiful place and that I sat in your room with you and Herman, with beautiful fabrics and wallpapers that I couldn't stop looking to them and you wore black glasses, just like me now [to protect his eyes], but they [black glasses] were so amazingly beautiful and they suited you so well, as is only possible in a dream, and your dress was beautifully deep red blue black with exotic figures woven into it and the walls were yellow and pink. Anyway it was all a miracle of beauty and I wished that.... my eyes were healthy again and that we each could spent hundred thousand guilders a week, then we had built a beautiful yacht and we all sailed to the country of the Mikado [Japan], to have a look there. (translation from the original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek)“

—  George Hendrik Breitner Dutch painter and photographer 1857 - 1923
version in original Dutch / citaat uit de brief van Breitner, in het Nederlands: Laatst heb ik van jelui [de kunstenaar en zijn vrouw] gedroomd en dat jelui heel rijk waren en prachtig woonden en dat ik met U en Herman in een vertrek daarvan zat, met zulke prachtige stoffen en behangen, dat ik mij niet kan verzadigen er naar te kijken en gij hadt een zwarte bril op net als ik nu, maar die was zo verbazend mooi en stond U zoo goed, als dat alleen maar in een droom mogelijk is en uw costuum was prachtig diep rood blauw zwart met exotische figuren daarin geweven en de wanden waren geel en rose, enfin het was een wonder van pracht en ik wou dat.. ..mijn oogen weer heel waren en dat we ieder honderdduizend gld in de week te verteren hadden, dan lieten we een mooi jacht bouwen en zeilden allemaal naar het land van den Mikado, om daar eens te kijken. Quote of Breitner, in a letter to Herman van der Weele, c. 1892-96; as cited in Meisjes in kimono. Schilderijen, tekeningen en foto's van George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923) en zijn Japanse tijdgenoten, J.H.G. Bergsma & H. Shimoyama; Hotei Publishing, Leiden 2001, pp. 15-16

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„There you could always go into the Luxembourg museum and all the paintings were heightened and clearer and more beautiful if you were belly-empty, hollow-hungry.“

—  Ernest Hemingway American author and journalist 1899 - 1961
Context: You got very hungry when you did not eat enough in Paris because all the bakery shops had such good things in windows and people ate outside at tables on the sidewalk so that you saw and smelled the food. When you were skipping meals at a time when you had given up journalism and were writing nothing that anyone in America would buy, explaining at home that you were lunching out with someone, the best place to do it was the Luxembourg gardens... There you could always go into the Luxembourg museum and all the paintings were heightened and clearer and more beautiful if you were belly-empty, hollow-hungry. I learned to understand Cézanne much better and to see truly how he made landscapes when I was hungry. Ch. 8: 'Hunger Was Good Discipline'

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„These chemicals disclose layers of beauty that art is powerless to capture and for which the beauty of Nature herself is a mere simulacrum.“

—  Sam Harris American author, philosopher and neuroscientist 1967
Context: I have visited both extremes on the psychedelic continuum. The positive experiences were more sublime than I could have ever imagined or than I can now faithfully recall. These chemicals disclose layers of beauty that art is powerless to capture and for which the beauty of Nature herself is a mere simulacrum. It is one thing to be awestruck by the sight of a giant redwood and to be amazed at the details of its history and underlying biology. It is quite another to spend an apparent eternity in egoless communion with it. Positive psychedelic experiences often reveal how wondrously at ease in the universe a human being can be—and for most of us, normal waking consciousness does not offer so much as a glimmer of these deeper possibilities... But as the peaks are high, the valleys are deep. My “bad trips” were, without question, the most harrowing hours I have ever suffered—and they make the notion of hell, as a metaphor if not a destination, seem perfectly apt. Sam Harris, Drugs and the Meaning of Life http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/drugs-and-the-meaning-of-life/ (5 July 2011)

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„The lights grew thicker unheeded,
For silent and still were we;
Our hearts were drunk with a beauty
Our eyes could never see.“

—  George William Russell Irish writer, editor, critic, poet, and artistic painter 1867 - 1935
Context: Far up the dim twilight fluttered Moth-wings of vapour and flame: The lights danced over the mountains, Star after star they came. The lights grew thicker unheeded, For silent and still were we; Our hearts were drunk with a beauty Our eyes could never see. "The Unknown God" (1913) http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/350.html

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