Thursday, November 5, 2020
Beauty is both a narrower and a more comprehensive concept: more restricted, because not all art has been beautiful as its aim or effect; more extensive, because not all that is met as beautiful is art. Beauty plays a role as the healing quality of the Apollonian illusion, which both protects us from but also allows some access to wisdom concerning the true nature of the world. This also means that the primary distinction among aesthetic categories is not between beauty and sublimity (Homeric epic is a relevant category within the Apollonian), but between both together and a third: the Dionysian effect that rightly belongs to music. Beauty is a late innovation, masking the shudder in the presence of the divine.