299

What one should Learn from Artists. What means have we for making things beautiful, attractive, and desirable, when they are not so? - and I suppose they are never so in themselves! We have here something to learn from physicians, when, for example, they dilute what is bitter, or put wine and sugar into their mixing-bowl; but we have still more to learn from artists, who in fact, are continually concerned in devising such inventions and artifices. To withdraw from things until one no longer sees much of them, until one has even to see things into them, in order to see them at all - or to view them from the side, and as in a frame - or to place them so that they partly disguise themselves and only permit of perspective views - or to look at them through coloured glasses, or in the light of the sunset - or to furnish them with a surface or skin which is not fully transparent: we should learn all this from artists, and moreover be wiser than they. For this fine power of theirs usually ceases with them where art ceases and life begins; we, however, want to be the poets of our lives, and first of all in the smallest and most commonplace matters.

Friedrich Nietzsche - The Gay Science
Book IV - Aphorism # 299

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