By Georg Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel
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Additional info for Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art. Volume I
INTRODUCTION 47 through this medium does it penetrate the heart and the will. Now here it is a matter of indifference whether a man's attention is claimed by immediate external reality or whether this happens in another way, namely through pictures, symbols, and ideas containing in themselves and portraying the material of reality. We can envisage things which are not real as if they were real. Therefore it remains all the same for our feelings whether it is external reality, or only the appearance of it, whereby a situation, a relation, or, in general, a circumstance of life, is brought home to us, in order to make us respond appropriately to the essence of such a matter, whether by grief or rejoicing, whether by being touched or agitated, or whether by making us go through the gamut of the feelings and passions of wrath, hatred, pity, anxiety, fear, love, reverence and admiration, honour and fame.
Iv). In a work of art, as in life, the greater a man's character the more are different interpretations put on it by different people. • 54 INTRODUCTION against the individual disposition in general; as the harsh opposition between inner freedom and the necessity of external nature, further as the contradiction between the dead inherently empty concept, and the full concreteness of life, between theory or subjective thinking, and objective existence and experience. These are oppositions which have not been invented at all by the subtlety of reflection or the pedantry of philosophy; in numerous forms they have always preoccupied and troubled the human consciousness, even if it is modern culture that has first worked them out most sharply and driven them up to the peak of harshest / contradiction.
For this he has been reproached, and especially blamed and depreciated in comparison with Goethe's objectivity and his invariable naivete, steadily undisturbed by the Concept. But in this respect Schiller, as a poet, only paid the debt of his time, and what was to blame was a perplexity which turned out only to the honour of this sublime soul and profound mind and only to the advantage of science and knowledge. At the same period this same scientific impulse withdrew Goethe too from his proper sphere—poetry.
Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art. Volume I by Georg Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel