Thursday, March 12, 2009

Simson on Medieval Aesthetics

For medieval man, the physical world as we understand it has no reality except as a symbol. But even the term "symbol" is misleading. For us the symbol is the subjective creation of poetic fancy; for medieval man what we would call symbol is the only objectively valid definition of reality. We find it necessary to suppress the symbolic instinct if we seek to understand the world as it is rather than as it seems. Medieval man conceived the symbolic instinct as the only reliable guide to such an understanding. (Otto von Simson, The Gothic Cathedral: Origins of Gothic Architecture & the Medieval Concept of Order, pg. xix.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's deep, man.