Sunday, December 22, 2013

Goethe about bonsai rules

Goethe, Werther:

To the benefit of rules one can say just about what can be said to praise civil society. A man who strictly follows rules will never produce something tasteless, bad, as one who lets himself being modeled by laws and affluence never will be an unbearable neighbor, never a strange villain will he be; in contrast will all rules destroy the real feeling of nature and the true expression of nature, regardless of whatever you want to say about this.

Man kann zum Vorteile der Regeln viel sagen, ungefähr was man zum Lobe der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft sagen kann. Ein Mensch, der sich nach ihnen bildet, wird nie etwas Abgeschmacktes und Schlechtes hervorbringen, wie einer, der sich durch Gesetze und Wohlstand modeln läßt, nie ein  unerträglicher Nachbar, nie ein merkwürdiger Bösewicht werden kann; dagegen wird aber auch alle Regel, man rede was manwolle, das wahre Gefühl von Natur und den wahren Ausdruck derselben zerstören!

Nature and art, they seem to escape each other and have found each other before you think about it. The antipathy has vaned also to me and both seem to attract me equally.

Natur und Kunst, sie scheinen sich zu fliehen
Und haben sich, eh man es denkt, gefunden;
Der Widerwille ist auch mir verschwunden,
Und beide scheinen gleich mich anzuziehen.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(1749 - 1832)

Quelle: Goethe: »Gedichte. Nachlese«

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it's the old apollo v dionysus, order versus chaos. the creative process fuses the two together - creative force needs structure, and structure alone is barren.

you can see Thomas Mann's Death in Venice for the same theme. Nietzsche's work is also infused with it. Strange that the zen tradition of Japan explicitly and forcefully rejects the dualisms of western logical thought, yet seems to have as much difficulty as many in the western bonsai world in seeing past the traditional "rules". anyway I might be babbling. I enjoy your posts on the artistic perspective in bonsai (as in any other art) and wholly agree.