the perfect definition of the work of art

from flowerville

In these lines of Baudelaire:

Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté, 

Luxe, calme et volupté

in which the inattentive reader sees only a cascade of words, I see the perfect definition of the work of art. I take each one of these words separately, next I admire the garland they form and the effect of their conjunction; for no one of them is useless and each of them is exactly in its place. I should quite willingly take them as titles of the successive chapters of a treatise on æsthetics:

  1. Order (logic, reasonable disposition of the parts);
  2. Beauty (line, dash, profile of the work);
  3. Luxury (disciplined richness);
  4. Calm (tranquilization of the tumult);
  5. Voluptuousness (sensuality, adorable charm of matter, attractiveness).

André Gide – Journal 1918 (Detached Pages)
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