"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

29 November 2007

Sculpting in Time

I have been reading Russian filmmaker Andrey Tarkovsky's book Sculpting in Time, thanks to the recommendation of this young man, a film communications major. It is one of those books that gives one chills by its insight and expression. For this morning, a sample:

In setting great store by the subjective view of the artist and his personal perception of the world, I am not making a plea for an arbitrary or anarchic approach. It is a question of worldview, of ideals and moral ends. Masterpieces are born of the artist's struggle to express his ethical ideals. Indeed, his concepts and his sensibilities are informed by those ideals. If he loves life, has an overwhelming need to know it, change it, try to make it better, -- in short, if he aims to cooperate in enhancing the value of life, then there is no danger in the fact that the picture of reality will have passed through a filter of his subjective concepts, through his state of mind. For his work will always be a spiritual endeavour which aspires to make man more perfect: an image of the world that captivates us by its harmony of feeling and thought, its nobility and restraint.

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