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 Post subject: Dostoevsky on "beauty"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2002 8:37 pm 
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Is it true, prince, that you once declared that 'beauty would save the world'? Great Heaven! The prince says that beauty saves the world! And I declare that he only has such playful ideas because he's in love! Gentlemen, the prince is in love. I guessed it the
moment he came in. Don't blush, prince; you make me sorry for you. What beauty saves the world?

~Dostoevsky, from The Idiot
http://ibiblio.org/gutenberg/etext01/idiot10.txt

Mrs. Epanchin examined the portrait of Nastasia Philipovna for some little while, holding it critically at arm's length.
"Yes, she is pretty," she said at last, "even very pretty. I have seen her twice, but only at a distance. So you admire this kind of beauty, do you?" she asked the prince, suddenly.
"Yes, I do--this kind."
"Do you mean especially this kind?"
"Yes, especially this kind."
"Why?"
"There is much suffering in this face," murmured the prince, more as though talking to himself than answering the question.
"I think you are wandering a little, prince," Mrs. Epanchin decided, after a lengthened survey of his face; and she tossed the portrait on to the table, haughtily.
Alexandra took it, and Adelaida came up, and both the girls examined the photograph. Just then Aglaya entered the room.
"What a power!" cried Adelaida suddenly, as she earnestly examined the portrait over her sister's shoulder.
"Whom? What power?" asked her mother, crossly.
"Such beauty is real power," said Adelaida. "With such beauty as that one might overthrow the world."
She returned to her easel thoughtfully.
~Dostoevsky, from The Idiot

In a pastoral letter, Saving Beauty, Cardinal Martini of Milan set forth a vision for loving one another as God loves us. After discussing some of the world's greatest problems, he described a scene in one of Dostoyevsky's novels in which a character asks:
"The prince says that the world will be saved by beauty! ... What sort of beauty will save the world?"
The prince does not answer, but stands silently with the infinite compassion of love next
to a young man of 18 who is dying of tuberculosis.
"What sort of beauty will save the world?"
Cardinal Martini, noting the compassionate love of the prince, suggests:
"the beauty that will save the world is the love that shares the pain."
~copied from an Internet webpage


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:43 pm 
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if i reminded true, sartre wrote in La Nausée this subject too. according to him, old and a worned face is more beautiful than fresh ones.


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