Thursday, September 19, 2013

"the indescribably fateful thing"

In 1901, Hugo von Hofmannsthal went to an exhibition of Van Gogh paintings:
At first sight they seemed to me harsh and disturbing, quite raw, quite odd, I had first to adjust in order to see the first ones as pictures, as a unity—then, however, then I saw them all as such, each one, and all together, and Nature in them, and the human spiritual power that Nature had formed, and tree and bush and field and slope, and something further, something behind what was painted, the essential thing, the indescribably fateful thing—, I saw the whole, so that I lost the sense of myself in these images, and came back powerfully and was lost again.

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