Monday, February 04, 2008

glorious pointlessness

a found poem

Most aesthetic concepts
are theological ones in disguise

The Romantics saw works of art
as mysteriously autonomous
conjuring themselves
from their own unfathomable depths

Self-originating, self-determining
a secular version of the Almighty

Both God and art belonged
to that rare category of objects
which existed entirely
for their own sake

Free of the vulgar taint of utility

In their freedom, independence
and glorious pointlessness
works of art were images of men and women

Or at least of what they could become

Art was a politics all of its own
a foretaste of utopia
in its very uselessness

Found in Terry Eagleton’s Coruscating on Thin Ice in the 24 January issue of the London Review of Books

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