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#66782 - 04/21/02 04:05 PM beauty and other abstract qualities
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Lovng beauty as i do, i don't want Dr Bill's idea for an exploration of beauty to be lost in the philopolemica thread..

that thread, began to discuss old scratch, and Dr Bill pointed out,
...In Goethe's "Faust", the Devil promises Faust that he will live, with some special powers, until he sees something so beautiful that he says the fatal words: 'Don't go, you are so beautiful!' I haven't seen the text for almost sixty years, but I remember how surprised I was that the thing of such beauty, Faust forget the penalty , was the idea of building the Panama Canal!
What do you think would be beautiful enough to make a modern Faust forget the penalty?


various thread have touched on beauty, just this week the image of snow on dogwood flowers, or last springs hot rising daffodils.. Keats has been feature in several threads. and blake..

Time -- an abstract quality entranced us. are we also smitten by beauty? Do you find beauty in your life everyday? ever? where and what?

_________________________
my other obsession

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#66783 - 04/21/02 04:14 PM Re: beauty and other abstract qualities
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Beauty is in many things around us much of the time. The problem is that we get so involved in minor annoyances that we don't see the flowers or notice the fragrance.


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#66784 - 04/21/02 04:26 PM Re: beauty and other abstract qualities
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
from Endymion, Book 1

by John Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darken’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
’Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple’s self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o’ercast,
They alway must be with us, or we die.



The Only WO'N!

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#66785 - 04/21/02 04:32 PM Re: beauty and other abstract qualities
talltales Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/21/02
Posts: 30
Loc: Seattle
To quote from this website: http://www.uh.edu/engines/faust.htm


"...Faust didn't strike a bargain with the Devil. Instead, he made a bet. Faust bet that he could never be lured into settling down on any Earthly pleasure -- that his spirit would remain restless. The Devil agreed to the bet, and that's when Faust uttered those remarkable lines. He said,

When I say to the Moment flying:
'Linger a while -- thou art so fair!'
Then bind me in your bonds undying,
And my final ruin I will bear!

He tells Satan that he'll never settle down on any one good thing. He, Faust, will never be satisfied. The devil says, "Oh, yes, you will."

Faust's claim was a primary Romantic sentiment: Driving restlessness is the mainspring of the creative person. Faust snaps back at Satan, "When did the likes of you ever understand a human soul in its supreme endeavor?""

I find it fascinating that Faust accepts the pact only under one condition: if ever he says to a moment: "stay, thou art so sweet," the devil will have triumphed. Yet at the very end of Faust II, when Faust dies, he has still not uttered these words.

------------

As a writer, I would agree with the idea that life without an outlet for creativity is a living hell in itself.

As for what would be so beautiful as to make me utter those words, I will admit I've had many such moments in my life. Absent a bet with the Devil, I've had that freedom. I've lived at the top of a 10,500 foot mountain, I've worked in a hospital, I've been a law enforcement officer. There have been so many profound and meaningful moments, and so many beautiful scenes in my experience, I couldn't name just one.

In fairness, I must answer your question. What would make me utter those words in Faust's situation? I think it would be the last time I spent a day with my entire family, at a barbecue in my mother's back yard, sharing news, enjoying each other's company, laughing endlessly. That was before the death of my brother-in-law, before my nephew's accident, before several other unforseen events tore my family apart. I might give anything to have that moment back again.






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#66786 - 04/21/02 04:38 PM ...other abstract qualities
musick Offline
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Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 2658
Loc: Chicago
http://wordsmith.org/board/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=words&Number=37343

...then there is the *old saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder".

I've had as many discussions about this definition as there were definitions of this discussion. I can't wait for this one to unfold!


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#66787 - 04/21/02 04:41 PM Re: beauty and other abstract qualities
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Since the triumph of good over evil is beautiful, I would let the Devil claim me if I could solve the Israel-Palestine problem in a lasting way.


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#66788 - 04/21/02 04:50 PM Re: beauty and other abstract qualities
talltales Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/21/02
Posts: 30
Loc: Seattle
I'm not sure I would be so noble. I tend to believe that nations, like individuals, have a responsibility to solve their own conflicts. This can be construed as a laissez faire attitude, but I assure you I am just as horrified and disgusted by the situation in the Middle East as is the next person. I am not sure, however, that wanting to "fix" the broken-ness of human relations in the Middle East is worth the loss of one's soul. We are speaking in the hypothetical, I realize, but still... it strikes me as a rather esoteric and self-abnegating choice. Perhaps I place too much value on my own soul as set against the misery of thousands, I don't know.

Great food for thought, Dr. Bill.


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#66789 - 04/21/02 05:15 PM Re: beauty and other abstract qualities
musick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 2658
Loc: Chicago
Yet at the very end of Faust II, when Faust dies, he has still not uttered these words.

Having not read the werk in question, I wonder... hasn't Faust in (as RUSH so aptly sung it) choosing not to decide still making a choice? The Devil's sweetness is the loss of Faust's specific definition, as Faust's sweetness is also an intellectual one? Truth=Beauty both subjectively and objectively.

I'm sure this has all been *hashed before, but I'm not sure I want to know where. Tell me if you must, but don't expect me to research!


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#66790 - 04/21/02 05:25 PM Re: beauty and other abstract qualities
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
Just a little side tangent really quick, what exactly is the difference between the Faust by Goethe and the Faust by Christopher Marlowe? That's always confused me.


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#66791 - 04/21/02 05:31 PM Re: beauty and other abstract qualities
talltales Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/21/02
Posts: 30
Loc: Seattle
I'm not sure Faust chooses not to decide. Rather, he places a condition on the Devil's triumph. ONLY if he (Faust) utters certain words - "Stay a while, you are so sweet" is one variation - will the Devil win, and claim Faust's soul. So it's not so much an either/or, as much as a unique twist on the theme. ("The Devil and Daniel Webster" explores that theme from another aspect, that of a lawyer matching wits with Satan. At stake - the soul of Mr. Webster's client).

At any rate, the theme of beauty runs through Goethe's play in the form of temptation. Will Faust find anything so compellingly beautiful as to make him lose his bet? Dr. Bill says the idea of the building of the Panama Canal, of all things, proves to be Faust's undoing. There's that reference again to the question Faust poses to the Devil: "When did the likes of you ever understand a human soul in its supreme endeavor?" After presenting to Faust all manner of temptation in an effort to make him wish the moment would stay, can the Devil understand this passion to control and manipulate the very geography of the Earth?

As Dr. Bill asked in his original post on another thread, what would you find beautiful enough to make you lose your bet with the Devil?


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