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Unformatted text preview: utton to epicure, from the
brutally passionate to the sexual connoisseur. Others whose appetites are hearty subordinate them to the main
business of their lives, achievement in some form. There is a whole range of taste in pleasures of this kind that
I do not even attempt to analyze at this point, even if it were possible for me to analyze it.
Pleasure in dress, in ceremonials, in all the ornamentation of life, forms part of the artistic impulses. The love
of music is too lofty to be classed with the other pleasures. This is true of only a few people. For most of us
music is an entertainment and is usually poorly endured if it constitutes the total entertainment. As part of the
theater, of the movie, of dancing, it is "appreciated" by everybody. To most it stirs the emotions so deeply that
its pleasure vanishes in fatigue if too long endured. The capacity to enjoy music, especially the capacity to
express it, is one of the great variables of life. It is true that the poseurs in music and the arts generally seek
superiority by pretending to a knowledge, interest and pleasure they do not really have, just as there are some
who really try to enjoy what they feel they should enjoy. Nowhere is there quite so much pretense and
humbug as in the field of the artistic tastes. Nowhere is the arbitrariness of taste so evident, and nowhere is the
"expert" so likely to be a pretender. I say this in full recognition of the fact that science and religion have their
modes and pretenses as well as art.
The "progress" of man is marked as much as anything by a change in "taste," change in what is considered
mannerly, beautiful and pleasant. This progress is called refinement, although this term is also used in relation
to ethics. Refinement in cooking leads to the art of the chef. Refinement in dress becomes developed into an
intricate, ever-changing relation of clothes and age, sex, time of day, situation, etc., so that it is unrefined to CHAPTER XVI. 129 wear clothes of certain texture and hues and refined to wear others. Refinement in manner regulates the tone
of voice, the violence of gesticulation, the exhibition of emotions and the type of subjects discussed, a...
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- Spring '11