A pithy way to categorize an aesthetic response – the straightforward reflection of a mirror or the more complex refraction of a prism.  I will test this out next time I look at a building, sculpture, painting or poem. 

‘Two aesthetics exist: the passive aesthetic of mirrors and the active aesthetic of prisms.’  

See another aesthetic metaphor by Borges.

See also Anthony Burgess on aesthetic elation, Harold Bloom on aesthetic strength as a key to the canon kingdom, and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando on aesthetic culture shock.


Source: Jorge Luis Borges, On Writing, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2010, p. 3

Photo credit: Joel Filipe at unsplash.com


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