the vaulted fool

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May 22
It is natural for artists, and lovers of art, to entertain the thought that art is immortal; natural, too, for us to find strange but true comfort in the counter-acknowledgement that, in the long run, art is no more immortal than we are. To Swinburne’s claim that ‘All men born are mortal but not man’, Tennyson retorted within a longer perspective: ‘Man is as mortal as men’. Art is as mortal as men, but it is a stay, though not triumphantly against mortality, yet enduringly against confusion or consternation about mortality.
— Christopher Ricks, Beckett’s Dying Words