English decadence of the XIX century: the pre-Raphaelites and their circle | Alexander Dugin



A huge impact on a group of artists, poets and intellectuals who have received the General name “pre-Raphaelites”(as they admired the art of the middle Ages, Gothic and early Renaissance before Raphael) had John Ruskin and Walter Pater. Only after Rafael as they thought after Raskinem, art became naturalistic and individualistic traits that embody a transition to the Modern.Art Nouveau the pre-Raphaelites totally rejected, and in this radical hostility to modernity, the bourgeois, and the industrial era is easy to see the common thing that binds all figures of English decadence. This is decadence doubly: first, it is argued that art Nouveau is the decay, the decadence, and optimistic mask hides the devil, death and alienation, and secondly, the opening of the decay and compare with past eras is not able to rise to the level of the symmetric response, or revolution;artists only lament about the situation, sarcastically rejecting the townsfolk and the crowd, to run and hide from the world in field of dreams, imagination, aesthetic illusion, and sometimes, perversions, alcohol and psychotropic substances. The decadents saw decadence in contemporary England, and the UK saw a decadence in themselves. So, reflection has become a double-reverse.

John Ruskin: “Gothic socialism” and Athena in the heart

John Ruskin (1819 — 1900),Scottish poet and critic, have built their concepts of aesthetics, in direct opposite to the dominant in his time, utilitarian-industrial style in architecture, fashion, daily life, speech, etc. From his point of view, a role model must be the Gothic style of the early Renaissance, as well as the standards of the middle Ages, considered Raskinem the highest expression of European culture, of which England, as a European country, and it was necessary to follow, without turning into a bourgeois liberal abyss of bad taste and technology primitive.


Ruskin saw the middle Ages and in Gothic not only role models, but also a reflection of a harmonious and truly spiritual Christian society not yet tainted by the naturalism and egoism successive generations of masters of the Renaissance.Early Renaissance architecture in their buildings and works of art created by Reskin of the highest specimens of the aesthetic-ethical beginning, is not only the aristocratic classes, but to the people, including peasants and artisans who were engaged in the area of beauty and the sublime, in particular, at the Church services in the Gothic cathedrals built and decorated with brilliant and exquisite creators.For Ruskin, the worst in Modern dance consists in the separation of society according to material feature, when the bourgeoisie has access to the arts, education and occupations mental labor (although all of this adjusts to fit your shallow criteria and material interests) and the masses of the people are mired in poverty and ignorance in the realm of the inhuman, monotonous mechanical work.In this situation, the upper classes despise the lower classes and the lower classes are jealous of the top, if there is no common aesthetic and cultural and moral authority, which in the Gothic epoch was embodied in Christianity, and his highest artistic achievements.

Ruskin was a deep connoisseur of Hellenic mythology and with great attention to its structures. In particular, in his unique work “Proserpine: a study of the flowers growing along the road”, reskin parses the name of the flower in their relation to the characters of Greek mythology and the etymology of their names, and also analyzes aesthetic options — petals, roots, stems, leaves, buds of each plant, comparing them with a variety of architectural shapes and spectacular techniques, including color schemes and combinations.

The mythology of the figures of Pallas Athena is dedicated to the book of John Ruskin, “the Queen of the Air”, consisting of three parts “Athena in the heavens”, “earth Athena” and “Athena in the heart”. Reskin gives such exposure image of Athena, who sheds on his understanding of the ontology of the Greek gods, if not in the Ancient Greece, at least in Europe from the Renaissance period, when interest in pre-Christian traditions of the West, first and foremost, to Ancient Greece broke out with renewed force, although, strictly speaking, it has not disappeared if ever — since the first centuries of Christianity until the late middle Ages.Then, as John Ruskin interpreted the myth and its characters, shows the special attitude of specific European romanticism and idealism, which is closely intertwined Christian tradition of acting as a permanent reference base for hermeneutics and (implicit and explicit) of allusions, fragments of ancient polytheism and modern scientific and philosophical knowledge on psychology, botany, physiology, Mineralogy, atmospheric phenomena, etc. In the Universe Ruskin Athena is a living Gestalt, a phoneme fundamental metaphysics plastic. It is simultaneously:
• participated in the numerous mythological subjects, each of which opens one side or the other of its axial sense;
• a series of semantically related natural phenomena;
• the name for ethical and aesthetic systems;
• moral virtue;
• philosophical principle;
• the state of the soul;
• the patroness of professions, crafts and arts;
• and finally, a thin shrill sense the presence of, for want of some other word has been called all those who once worried, “Pallas Athena”.

Athena — a figure of consciousness, the physical world, and a special inspiration of their own of the Epiphany —
• in the air (which, by Reskin, is its organic nature), where it is embodied in rootworm the Northern wind;
• on earth, where it represents the vitality of rapidly growing organisms, and first colors;
• and in heart, in soul, where she organizes the fine structure of the will and imagination of man.

The Greeks, for Ruskin, were humanity Athens, and their culture, underlying the European Logo, was originally developed around her the Epiphany, around her Gestalt. That is what “men of Athens” reskin and offers to take over the eternal pattern of the society and the culture that the Europeans should build in the future, chthonic is a Herculean nightmare, completely lost every grace and every spiritual virtue, which in Europe and, primarily, England, became in the nineteenth century.But the real horror, where the person loses all similarity with its archetype, for Ruskin were the Americans, in the company which he once happened to travel to ancient sacred sites of Sicily, then, closely acquainted with their sordid habits and meaningless interests, he truly hated.

Ruthless criticism of capitalism, and the desire to change things in society led Ruskin to the position of Christian socialism, which resulted in the publication of them in the years 1871-1884 special magazine “Fors Clavigera”, addressed to the workers of England and aim to raise their cultural and aesthetic level. In this case, the reskin on the basis of their historical and aesthetic views has formulated a detailed political and economic theory, directly opposed to liberalism.And his opposition to liberalism affected not only the practical conclusions, but also its metaphysical base that makes the value of reskin even more important, as his critique of capitalist bourgeois Anglo-Modernism was coming from within the British society.

Reskin refuses from the outset to take the figure of the bourgeois as a universal norm, thereby undermining the root class on the anthropology of liberalism. Instead, it claims the version is some kind of “Gothic socialism”, where the spiritual ideals of medieval chivalry combined with the ethics of community-based work — on earth or in urban Guild of handicraft associations, brotherhoods. The Union of an aristocrat of the spirit with the working man is the basis of the bourgeoisie alternative socio-political programme formulated and shared Raskinem in General, the pre-Raphaelites, and Wilde.If in the early works reskin subjected to detailed revision of the dominant England of the nineteenth century aesthetic view, in the later period he undertook a radical revision of liberal political economy by developing a detailed criticism of the views of Jeremiah Bentham, John Stuart mill, Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus.Ruskin combined their texts on political economy, in the book “Workers of the final hour” (4 essays), where based on the Evangelical parable of the allocation of labor between those who worked all day and those who came to the end of the day, built a model of solidarity in society, whose economic activity is based on the unity, spirit and respect to nature, in complete opposition to the standards, predatory exploitation of people and resources, as the main strategy of classical capitalism.John Ruskin is considered not only one of the first creators of the social economy, but also a precursor of the environmental movement.

Reskin other before in the history of economic thought were made by rigidly against the principle of “division of labour” as the main operations for the alienation of the worker from the products of his work. Based on the ideas of Plato, Ruskin looked at the household and its economic activity not as a search for maximum gain, but as a spiritual community work, inspired by the concern of all about all and sometimes require sacrifice.

It is significant that the economic texts of Ruskin were extremely popular in India during the struggle for independence and became the basis of the socio-political views of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi published a translation of “Workers of the final hour” in the Gujarati language, and its Indian name “Sarvodaya”, literally, “for the Benefit of all”, became a common concept to determine the highest goal of Economics Indian society after its liberation from British rule. In addition, the views of Ruskin has been taken up by the English labour party, in particular, the economist Dzh. E.Hobson, (1858 –1940), in the early twentieth century, and in this environment became one of the main conceptual lines, predetermined ideological guidelines of the party.

The socialism of Ruskin remained conservative, and himself reskin was ranked among the traditionalists and the tories to oppose egalitarianism, but considering that the hierarchy in society should not be based on absolutization of the principle of property, and especially on the success in material endeavors.

Trying to put his ideas into practice, Ruskin created a “Rural Guild of St. George” as the imitation of Gothic organizations “companions”, which was engaged in agricultural work, self-education on the principles of solidarity and mutual aid. This Guild as a small charity there is in England, up to now.

Walter Pater: instant unsub

Other major theoretician and ideologist of aestheticism along with Raskinem was a critic and essayist Walter Pater (1839 — 1894). If for Ruskin, art was part of an overall holistic human movement to meaning, and includes ontology, and morality, politics and social justice, Peter, as the German composer and theorist of art Wagner, allocated aesthetics in independent and self-sufficient sphere. Thus, the fact that Ruskin was an integral worldview, Patera was an Autonomous region aesthetic, common in all other sectors.However, this absolutization of the aesthetic has become the Foundation Patera special metaphysics. Starting with an attentive immersion in the field of art by studying paintings of the geniuses of the early Renaissance — Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli (who became famous in England thanks to a series of paintings dedicated to his essay Pater) — Peter came to the philosophical theory of “flow” (flux), which became the structure of his anesthetically views.

The meaning of art, Patero, is that the matter has been fully subordinated to form, and thereby, the work of art would become a pure form. This ideal is music where form and content match; the rest of the art only strive to approach the absoluteness of music. Music is a paradigm thread, but not simple and inarticulate, and tempered, treated, and live a meaningful, embodied in a flash of aesthetic admiration. Patera, all nature is composed of vortices, the rapid flow of particles collected on the nodes and again rasseivayushchei.Thinking there is also a stream, vortex, and even more fast and rapid, consisting of thoughts, sensations, feelings, emotions, images, symbols, etc. Vortices of consciousness converge, forming shapes and creating flashes of insight or a high intensity of emotions, and then dissipate again. Once the way the world works, says Peter, be vain to try to implement it flows in a constant, continuous and normative. Everything will dissipate and dissolve — in bodies and souls.Therefore, we should focus on the most expressive moments, not TMAs to perpetuate or extend them, but to name a few of their completeness in the most intensive, albeit finite, even short-term experience. People should not go against the nature of the vortex, he must learn to highlight the rich beauty of the existential fragments of facial expressions, gesture, detail of the landscape, the harmonious sounds — and as open and fully surrender to their self-referential charm.Peter have it expressed in aphoristic maxims of his aesthetic program, presented in the “Conclusion” to his early work “essays on the history of the Renaissance”:

“Not the result of experience, but the experience is our aim. We are given a limited number of pulses is variable, the drama of life. And how are we to see in them what we would need in them to see through the most refined of the senses? How rapidly we should move from point to point, to always remain in focus, where the maximum vital force unites in its clean energy?
To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, supporting this ecstatic — that is success in life.
Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself is the end. A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a variegated, dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is to be seen in them by the finest senses? How can we pass most swiftly from point to point, and be present always at the focus where the greatest number of vital forces unite in their purest energy?
To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.

In these passages, expressing the very essence of the aesthetic philosophy of Patera, fancy blended Platonism with his beautiful ontology (rounded and exhaustively set out in the dialogue “Feast”) and specific English empiricism and sensationalism, but only fully stripped of their utilitarian motive. This is romanticism pushed to its extreme sketchiness and released from the complex and often Intrusive stories.Pater celebrates the ecstatic moment that allows you to extend the life as the interval between two infinite periods of non-existence — to Wake in man, his mind and spirit after his physical death or total wilting. Life is short: the more we live, there is in it an aesthetic (ecstatic), so it will be better and better — longer, higher and deeper.But this is, by Patera, purpose: to live intensely, to survive the bright flashes of feelings, the subtle play of images, the graceful gestures, the subtle tone of art, rich range of experiences, the scenery, causing the ecstatic delight of consciousness philosophical system. Even religious experience for Patera becomes valuable and important, when it draws us into a vortex of high voltage spiritual forces — whether in horror or bliss, in pain or pleasure. Life is beautiful, but only in the sense that everything that’s not perfect, not life.Hence, the complete subordination of aesthetics and moral and rational principles. Well that’s fine. And even so, that’s fine.

And if so, the art that is engaged and interested only in beauty, becomes the most complete form of life, its most vital form.
Completes your program text, embodying the quintessence of the views of the pre-Raphaelites, and later Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, etc., Peter stamped with the following phrases:

“Excellent! We’re all doomed, says Victor Hugo: “the people all are condemned to death with the delayed enforcement of sentence”. All we have is an interval and then our place doesn’t recognize us anymore. Some spend this interval in apathy, others in high passions, the wisest but in art and singing. Our only chance to stretch this interval, getting as many pulse beats as possible in a limited time.High passion immediately inform the human sense of life, ecstasy or tart bitterness of love, political or religious enthusiasm, as well as “obsession with humanity”. Just be sure first of all that it is passion that gives you the fruit accelerated, multiplied consciousness. Most wisdom, the poetic passion, the thirst for beauty found in the love of art for art’s sake; so as soon as the art comes to you frankly declaring, that will not give you nothing but the highest quality of fleeting moments and only for the sake of these moments”.

“Well, we are all condamnés, as Victor Hugo says : “les hommes sont tous condamnés à mort avec des sursis indifinis”. We have an interval and then our place knows us no more. Some spend this interval in listlessness, some in high passions, the wisest in art and song. For our one chance is in expanding that interval, in getting as many pulsations as possible into the given time. High passions give one this quickened sense of life, ecstasy and sorrow of love, political or religious enthusiasm, or the enthusiasm of humanity.Only, be sure it is passion, that it does yield you this fruit of a quickened, multiplied consciousness. Of this wisdom, the poetic passion, the desire of beauty, the love of art for art’s sake has most ; for art comes to you professing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments’ sake”.

Aesthetic metaphysics of Patera may seem at first glance to be “subjective”, since he constantly emphasizes, that before, you know the thing, it is necessary to form an opinion about it, and it need painted all the flow and vortices of life may not be “neutral”, especially if we know things that are not neutral (that is not indifferent!) us. But subjectivity is dissipated if we accept the ontology of beauty, perspective vertical dimension of the eternal moments and the interpretation of affects, which gives Schelling and Heidegger later develops, starting from Schelling. Schelling drew attention to the fact that often they are mortal and prone to the passions of the people give into the myths and religions of these same properties (passions) of the gods.But Schelling proposes to look at this problem differently: what if, on the contrary, the gods give their reflections of the divine passions of the people, and through these glimpses of people and is able, albeit at a respectful distance, but still closer to light the existence of gods… And of course, immediately comes to mind is “suffering God” is Dionysus, whose divinity does not exclude passion and death, prehodyaschest and tragedy, but includes all this, and loving the earth element with its presence. The aestheticism of Pater is quite possible to interpret and Dionysian.In this case, the subject will become as a streaming concept like life itself: not something individually constant and once and for all put between two moments of nothingness that restricts the subject in the past and the future, but the vortex, playful, passionate, ever-changing concentration of wild life, its time. Such an entity — for all its ephemerality and instant becomes unconditional and sustainable, even somewhat versatile, as it combines atomic isolated individual beings shared fire element of life.

Pre-Raphaelites: the face of the God of death

The basis of the “brotherhood of pre-Raphaelites” was the poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 — 1882), artists William Holman hunt (1827 — 1910) and John Everett Millais (1829 — 1896).

Dante Gabriel Rossetti started with translation of “New life” of Dante into English. Cycle of Dante and “the Death of king Arthur” by Thomas Mallory have become major aesthetic and philosophical guide his work. Many paintings and watercolours Rossetti was an illustration to the myths and medieval stories, and even biblical motifs he tried to stylize medieval illustrations, achieving the color similarities and reproducing style. However, Dante Gabriel Rossetti used an innovative technique, up to appeared in the late nineteenth century in England photos.

The main ideology Rossetti and the pre-Raphaelites in General was based on the continuity of deep Anglo-British identity, mythological and religious background which become the center of their work. However, they focused on Shakespeare, the romantics — especially Coleridge and Keats, were the first to recognize the value of Blake, and theoretical foundations of the course made a reskin and Peter, immediately agreeing with the direction their publications and essays.

The work of William Holman hunt, the friend of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, aged in total for the pre-Raphaelite manner with high attention to detail, lighting, special color scheme and manner of writing, often more than other artists of this movement were converted to the Christian motives. Hunt’s painting “Light of the World” depicting Christ standing at the door of the human soul in the night in the lunar halo, contemporaries hunt was perceived as an active radical propaganda of Catholicism and the call for the restoration of the medieval mystical spirit.However, this painting, painting of Christ in an unexpected and unusual manner, with soulful and reverent, but innovative style, is considered one of the earliest examples of the artistic avant-garde, anticipating the aesthetics of the European symbolists.

To understand the other side of the pre-Raphaelites — their depression, the tendency to psychodelica, turbulent and tragic relationship with women, sometimes going far beyond commonly accepted in the English society of the Victorian era morality, their susceptibility to hallucinations (especially in the case of Dante Gabriel Rossetti) and extravagant actions (so, Rossetti produced the exhumation of his wife and model Elizabeth Siddal a year after the funeral, to retrieve from the grave thrown back funeral poems, he also brought for the first time in the history of England home bambata, then a llama and a Toucan, etc.) —you should pay attention to the complete opposite of their guidelines, ideals and values that prevailed at the time in England.

The dominant line was utilitarianism, capitalism, trade, industry, technical and scientific development, the cult of Modernity and individualism. While these tendencies prevailed in society for granted, and against this background, the pre-Raphaelites looked exotic extreme, lunatic vision, reverse hallucination. Many admirers of Rossetti and hunt, buying their paintings, it was recognized that these have an aversion, but that was their appeal.English-art Nouveau-seen in its decadent antithesis, but because of democratic orientation preferred not to destroy or deny it, but to integrate it on the overall rights of a harmless eccentric gesture in the field of culture.
This grotesque backdrop that accompanied the pre-Raphaelites did not, however, their movement is less serious and tragic. Hence the traditional romantic theme of “consciousness in evil”, the awakening in the dream, the revolt in the midst of death.
The centrality of the figure of the “God of death” in the works expressly described the pre-Raphaelite Dante Gabriel Rossetti in his sonnets from “the House of Life.”

The House Of Life: 66. Heart Of The Night

From child to youth, from boys to men;
From lethargy to fever of the heart;
From faithful life to disparate days, endowed with the residual dreams;
From certainty to doubt; from doubt to brink of damnation;
So many changes runs in a single rapid cycle
Up to this point. Alas, the soul! — how soon will she have to accept her primal immortality, — will flesh the ashes again, and where did it come from?
The God of work and peace! The God of life!
Oh God, horrible! God will! Let’s late, but
Yet renew this soul proper breathing:
So when the world securely saved from slaughter,
Work restored, will revived,
Soul could see your face, O God of death!

The House of Life: 66. The Heart of the Night

From child to youth; from youth to arduous man;
From lethargy to fever of the heart;
From faithful life to dream-dower’d days apart;
From trust to doubt; from doubt to brink of ban;–
Thus much of change in one swift cycle ran
Till now. Alas, the soul!–how soon must she
Accept her primal immortality,–
The flesh resume its dust whence it began?
Lord of work and peace! O Lord of life!
O Lord, the awful Lord of will! though late,
Even yet renew this soul with duteous breath:
That when the peace is garner’d in from strife,
The work retriev’d, the will regenerate,
This soul may see thy face, O Lord of death!246

In the heart of the night, the poet addresses the God of death, whose face he fearlessly strives to discern. This is the culmination of the aesthetics of Pater calling to live with maximum intense intensity not so much moments of life, but life as a moment in which all. Such a moment can only be death, as the culmination of life. Himself Dante Gabriel Rossetti called it a “moment of moments” and was dedicated to the cycles of his sonnets to him. “The house of Life”, thus, is a chain of bright flashes of poignant experiences of existence, the culmination of which is the House of Death.And not incidentally, Rossetti devotes this series died (from a lethal dose of laudanum) wife.

From the book of Alexander Dugin “Naumachia: England or Britain?”

Stauffenberg was Right!

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