La Bible d'Amiens Manuscript fragments

   When art is conceived in this manner as the transcription of a divine reality sincerity is no longer one of the duties of the artist it is the only guide that prevents him from failing and that assures the fidelity of the transcription and prevents it from being blended with seductive lies. "We only write well about what we love" said Renan. We extract from the works of Ruskin an aesthetic in which the feelings play a greater part still and in which it is not evidence but enthusiasm that is the criterion of truth. So love has its paths that we do not perceive. Also we are often obliged to wait for the things whose hour has come for us to understand them and to love them. All Ruskin's life through this respect for the mysterious paths of aesthetic initiation "I may not understand Rouen but I feel ..."

   Nobody could set me against the famous pages of Modern Painters in which Ruskin mocks those artists that paint the things they love rather than painting everything that is. One may reconcile it by seeking out the point of view in the pages on Fontainebleau in Praeterita where he begins with boredom and finishes off with love the drawing of a tree in the forest. In the end there is no true love other than of what is and everything that is must inspire love in a perfect being. But Ruskin no doubt concedes that our "gifts" are precisely the measure by which we are open to the love of truth as he said in Sesame and Lilies.

Manuscript fragments from cahier N.A.Fr. 16617.

From Bulletin d'informations proustiennes, no 26, 1995, p57, Des théodolithes et de arbres II, Annette Kittredge.

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