Monday, November 7, 2022

Beauty as experience

There's a lot that I consider beautiful in The Art of Insight. Not the writing, which is casual, almost pedestrian, as in all my previous books, but the people I talked with and the work I'm showcasing.

My current understanding of beauty isn't classical, Platonic or Aristotelian —uppercase Beauty as a property of things,— but down-to-earth, pragmatic, relational, pluralistic —lowercase beauty as individual experience. I've read books that challenge such assumption. Among the best is ChloĆ© Cooper Jones's Easy Beauty, a breathtaking memoir that I strongly recommend. Get it. You can thank me later.

Here's a dialogue:

“Isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder?”

“I don’t think anyone who says this knows what it means.”


“Or rather, it has a meaning no one believes. It’s a silencing sentence, one that reduces rather than explores one of the most exhilarating human experiences. The experience of beauty. What a shame”

And a reflection:

“[There's a] difference between defining beauty and defining what beauty does in the body. The latter question belongs to the realm of aesthetics, the study of bodies in proximity to beauty.”

(To me there isn't such a difference.)

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