Sunday, February 01, 2009

Exhaustion and Gothic Art

This from Wilhelm Worringer's 1908 "Form in Gothic" (originally in German):

"Our organically tempered sense of vitality recoils before this senseless rage of express as from a debauch. When, however, finally yielding to compulsion, its energies flood these lifeless lines, it feels itself carried away in a strange and wonderful manner and raised to an ecstasy of movement, far outstripping any possibilities of organic movement. The pathos of movement which lies in this vitalized geometry - a prelude to the vitalized mathematics of Gothic architecture - forces our sensibility to an effort unnatural to it. When once the natural barriers of organic movement have been overthrown, there is no more holding back: again and again the line is broken, again and again checked in the natural direction of its movement, again and again it is forcibly prevented from peacefully ending its course, again and again diverted into fresh complications of expression, so that, tempered bby all these restraints, it exerts its energy of expression to the uttermost unti lat last, bereft of all possibilities of natural pacification, it ends in confused, spasmodic movements, breaks off unappeased into the void or flows senselessly back upon itself."


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