“Apprehending Beauty”


For those of us who have debated whether morality is objective, this blog post takes it to another level: beauty is objective, too. One reader, responding to Gene Veith’s post on Aesthetics & American Idol, writes,

“Learning to subjectively like what is objectively good at first bounced off of my 3am quick-read blog-scan. But then I realized that this exact thing happened to me and I shall anecdote-ize it thus:

“When first I approached Milton’s Paradise Lost I knew that I ‘should’ treasure it as a sublime and beautiful epic of written art. But i could only (at first) force myself to appreciate it from the outside, like looking at an utterly alien thing that all others considered beautiful. You look at it sideways, squint a bit, trying to see what they see… but it is unutterably alien. Perhaps you see an angle here or there that has a symmetrical form that is pleasing, a curve here, a line there… but the whole is so beyond your current vantage point that the beauty is lost by your own unelevated perspective.

“Then, after forcing yourself to merely ‘mentally ascribe’ the designation of beauty to the form, you slowly achieve the ability to connect the slivers of recognizable traits of beauty that you CAN see from your current state.

“This is achieved in literature by reading more…. “

More at Apprehending Beauty — Cranach: The Blog of Veith