Have you read, heard or seen a work of art lately that articulated something you knew all along or that led you to discover something new about yourself? Here are a few quotes to get us thinking about the roles of recognition and discovery in art.
“When we read the poem, or see the play or picture or hear the music, it is as though a light were turned on inside of us. We say: "Ah! I recognise that! That is something which I obscurely felt to be going on in and about me, but I didn't know what it was and couldn't express it. But now that the artist has made his image--imaged it forth--for me, I can possess and take hold of it and make it my own, and turn it into a source of knowledge and strength." Dorothy Sayers, "Towards a Christian Aesthetic"
“One of our most ordinary reactions to a good piece of literary art is expressed in the formula, ‘This is what I always felt and thought, and but have never been able to put clearly into words, even for myself.’” Aldous Huxley, "Tragedy and the Whole Truth"
“We read primarily to discover ourself--above all, perhaps, to discover what St. Augustine refers to as the dark corners of the heart.” Simon Lesser, Fiction and the Unconscious
“We read books to find out who we are...A person who has never listened to nor read a tale or myth or parable or story, would remain ignorant of his own emotional and spiritual heights and depths, would not know quite fully what it is to be human.” Ursula Le Guin, The Language of the Night