“You know when you see something like a marvelous mountain against the blue sky, the vivid, bright, clear, unpolluted snow, the majesty of it drives all your thoughts, your concerns, your problems away. Have you noticed that? You say, ‘How beautiful it is,’ and for two seconds perhaps, or for even a minute, you are absolutely silent. The grandeur of it drives away, for that second, the pettiness of ourselves. That immensity has taken us over. Like a child occupied with an intricate toy for an hour; he won’t talk, he won’t make any noise, he is completely absorbed in that. The toy has absorbed him. So the mountain absorbs you and therefore for the second, or the minute, you are absolutely quiet, which means there is no self. Now, without being absorbed by something - either a toy, a mountain, a face, or an idea - to be completely without the me in oneself, is the essence of beauty.”—Jiddu Krishnamurti, On Love and Loneliness (via nirvikalpa)
Interviewer: In your new novel, Pale Fire, one of the characters says that reality is neither the subject nor the object of real art, which creates its own reality. What is that reality?
Nabokov: Reality is a very subjective affair. I can only define it as a kind of gradual accumulation of information; and as specialization. If we take a lily, for instance, or any other kind of natural object, a lily is more real to a naturalist than it is to an ordinary person. But it is still more real to a botanist. And yet another stage of reality is reached with that botanist who is a specialist in lilies. You can get nearer and nearer, so to speak, to reality; but you never get near enough because reality is an infinite succession of steps, levels of perception, false bottoms, and hence unquenchable, unattainable. You can know more and more about one thing but you can never know everything about one thing: it’s hopeless. So that we live surrounded by more or less ghostly objects— that machine, there, for instance. It’s a complete ghost to me— I don’t understand a thing about it and, well, it’s a mystery to me, as much of a mystery as it would be to Lord Byron.