Very good post Fatal. if I may venture some thoughts on your response...
I think a lot depends on your daily environment. Someone from the city is likely to find a trip into nature incredibly beautiful because it's a departure from the norm. Whereas someone from a very rural setting may visit a city for the first time and find the architecture (and possibly even the gas stations) beautiful - though many would not.
I've no doubt that you're right in persons first encountering the unfamiliar as being 'titillated', but is this not more an example of 'interest' or 'excitement' in something new? When we first see something that fascinates us, is this "beauty" necessarily? I'm guessing it could be, but in the aforementioned examples it strikes me as more titillation than 'beauty'. Yes?
An example in literature: In the Grapes of Wrath where they stop at a gas station and Ma uses the 'patent toilet', flushing, for the first time. She comes back and comments on how beautiful it is. Beauty in a toilet? Why not! It's new, it's sanitary, it has flowing water.
MOST excellent example and a capital book. That entire episode (the things they first encounter as they bee-bop down the road is simply precious. If I may quote one I found VERY telling From "Grapes of Wrath", (Chapter 15) John Steinbeck :[INDENT] "The big cars on the highway. Languid, heat-raddled ladies, small nucleuses about whom revolve a thousand accouterments: creams, ointments to grease themselves, coloring matter in phials- black, pink, red, white, green, silver- to change the color of hair, eyes, lips, nails, brows, lashes, lids. Oils, seeds, and pills to make the bowels move. A bag of bottles, syringes, pills, powders, fluids, jellies to make their sexual intercourse safe, odorless, and unproductive. And this apart from clothes. What a hell of a nuisance!
Lines of weariness around the eyes, lines of discontent down from the mouth, breasts lying heavily in little hammocks, stomach and thighs straining against cases of rubber. And the mouths panting, the eyes sullen, disliking sun and wind and earth, resenting food and weariness, hating time that rarely makes them beautiful and always makes them old.
"[/INDENT]Probably not *exactly* the same place from whence the Toilet Example comes. But same lines of discovering the new
But on the question of nature, I think man is genetically conditioned to find beauty in nature because it has been with us from the very beginning and we rely on it. We also now live in such a linear, geometric environment that we're enjoying nature for its non-linear dynamics (though we clearly don't even need to know those terms to enjoy it).
Agree completely (and I hadn't thought much of the linear civilization/non-linear nature aspect - nice twist, it strikes me as true). As a matter of fact, we actually fleshed a good bit of this point out on this thread
which you (and perhaps others) might find interesting on Nature and 'Natural' Aesthetic Appeal.
Very good perspectives, although I think there must needs be a large differentiation between the excitement of the new and beauty. Yes, they most certainly can overlap, but I'd think that one doesn't necessarily equate to the other. Thoughts?
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