If photography is allowed to stand in for art in some of its functions it will soon supplant or corrupt it completely thanks to the natural support it will find in the stupidity of the multitude. It must return to its real task, which is to be the servant of the sciences and the arts, but the very humble servant, like printing and shorthand which have neither created nor supplanted literature.
If the Revolution has the right to destroy bridges and art monuments whenever necessary, it will stop still less from laying its hand on any tendency in art which, no matter how great its achievement in form, threatens to disintegrate the revolutionary environment or to arouse the internal forces of the Revolution, that is, the proletariat, the peasantry and the intelligentsia, to a hostile opposition to one another. Our standard is, clearly, political, imperative and intolerant.
If you are close to a precipice, go away a bit; if you are far from it, come close a bit! Enjoy the safety, enjoy the view! Without safety, it is dangerous; without view, it is dull! Life is an art of adjusting the distances!
If you were in a burning house and there was a cat and a Rembrandt, what would you save The cat...you would save the cat, because the cat is alive. The art is dead. It's just paint on a canvas, ink on a page. To live for art is to deny life. It's just to destroy life.
In all things, to serve from the lowest station upwards is necessary. To restrict yourself to a trade is best. For the narrow mind, whatever he attempts is still a trade; for the higher, an art; and the highest in doing one thing does all, or, to speak less paradoxically, in the one thing which he does rightly he sees the likeness of all that is done rightly.
In human life, art may arise from almost any activity, and once it does so, it is launched on a long road of exploration, invention, freedom to the limits of extravagance, interference to the point of frustration, finally discipline, controlling constant change and growth.
In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot of shabby bums living in attics and feeding on booze and spaghetti, but in America the successful writer or picture-painter is indistinguishable from any other decent businessman.
In spite of my great admiration for individual splendid talents I do not accept the star system. Collective creative effort is the root of our kind of art. That requires ensemble acting and whoever mars that ensemble is committing a crime not only against his comrades but also against the very art of which he is the servant.
In the height of thy prosperity expect adversity, but fear it not. If it come not, thou art the more sweetly possessed of the happiness thou hast, and the more strongly confirmed. If it come, thou art the more gently dispossessed of the happiness thou hadst, and the more firmly prepared.
In the works of the better poets you get the sensation that they're not talking to people any more, or to some seraphical creature. What they're doing is simply talking back to the language itself --as beauty, sensuality, wisdom, irony --those aspects of language of which the poet is a clear mirror. Poetry is not an art or a branch of art, it's something more. If what distinguishes us from other species is speech, then poetry, which is the supreme linguistic operation, is our anthropological, indeed genetic, goal. Anyone who regards poetry as an entertainment, as a read, commits an anthropological crime, in the first place, against himself.
In theatre, the main objective is to make the art happy, not the audience! If you have to choose between the audience and the art, always choose the second! You must know that the audience will always pull you down; resist it and fly at the heights like an eagle!
Increase in goodness as long as thou art here, that, when thou departest, in that thou mayest still be joyful. According to our words and deeds in this life will be the remembrance of us in the world.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,