I always enjoy reading Theodore Dalrymple’s articles, and this one at Taki’s Mag is no exception because as he takes on the topic of modern architects and their pulchriphobia (fear of beauty), he drops little diamonds like this into the discussion:
Taste is very revelatory of character, and though we live in an age in which we delight to talk of ourselves, in fact we do so while carefully protecting ourselves from true self-revelation or true self-examination.
Longtime Readers will know that while this may be true of a lot of people, there’s a distinct lack of that nonsense in this little corner of the Internet — most especially when it comes to discussions of architecture, or guns, or cars, or women, or practically anything which can be beautiful or made beautifully.
Pulchriphilia is more the order of the day, here. How could it be otherwise when I marvel at things like this:
or (wrenching myself unwillingly away from further contemplation of Suzanne Pleshette) this:
…or, to return to the article’s original topic, buildings such as this:
Going along with Dalrymple’s quote above, I am quite aware that my classification of all the above as “beautiful” may reveal aspects of my character, and to be honest, I don’t care a fig. I am what I am, it is what it is, and each of the above is a perfect example of the eponymous poem by John Keats:
A THING OF BEAUTY is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
’Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
Having pulchriphobia means denying the spirit that endless fountain, and we are much the poorer for its loss. Here’s Keats’s musk-rose:
Pause a while and smell it, while listening to this.