‘Let art be content with its lofty, splendid mission of being a substitute for reality in case of its absence, and of being a textbook of life for man. Reality stands higher than dreams, and essential purpose stands higher than fantastic claims.’
N.G. Chernyshevsky, ‘The Aesthetic Relation of Art to Reality’, MA thesis, 1855, in Selected Philosophical Essays, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1953, 379
‘Certainly Democritus said that though the mind thought ill of the senses because in themselves they did not reflect reality, yet it took its evidence from them…(the dictum of Democritus was) that phenomena are a window on the unseen. Through them, if we do not stop there, we can become aware of the nature of the invisible realities.
A man that looks on glasse
On it may stay his eye,
Or if he pleaseth, through it passe
And then the heav’n espie’
W.K.C.Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, 464.