Art frees us, illusorily, from the squalor of being. While feeling the wrongs and sufferings endured by Hamlet, prince of Denmark, we don’t feel our own, which are vile because they’re ours and vile because they’re vile.
Love, sleep, drugs and intoxicants are elementary forms of art, or rather, of producing the same effect as art. But love, sleep and drugs all have their disillusion. Love wearies or disappoints. We wake up from sleep, and while sleeping we haven’t lived. And we pay for drugs with the ruin of the very body they served to stimulate. But in art there is no disillusion, since illusion is accepted from the start. There’s no waking up from art, because we dream but don’t sleep in it. Nor do we pay a tax or penalty for having enjoyed art.
Since the pleasure we get from art is in a sense not our own, we don’t have to pay for it or regret it later.
By art I mean everything that delights us without being ours- the trail left by what has passed, a smile given to someone else, a sunset, a poem, the objective universe.
TO POSSESS IS TO LOSE. TO FEEL WITHOUT POSSESSING IS TO PRESERVE AND KEEP, FOR IT IS TO EXTRACT FROM THINGS THEIR ESSENCE.