Tuesday, July 25, 2006

WCW #1, Beauty #2

Jazz, the Follies, the flapper in orange and green gown and war-paint of rouge—impossible frenzies of color in a world that refuses to be drab. Even the movies, devoid as they are of color in the physical sense, are gaudy in the imaginations of the people who watch them; gaudy with exaggerated romance, exaggerated comedy, exaggerated splendor of grotesqueness or passion. Human souls who are not living impassioned lives, not creating romance and splendor and grotesqueness—phases of beauty's infinite variety—such people wistfully try to find these things outside themselves; a futile, often a destructive quest.

William Carlos Williams, The Great American Novel, 1923