Tuesday 23 August 2016

Two quotes from Georg Simmel's "Fashion"

Regarding the soul’s duality: "the physiological basis of our being gives the first hint, for we discover that human nature requires motion and repose, receptiveness and productivity – a masculine and a feminine principle are united in every human being. This type of duality applied to our spiritual nature causes the latter to be guided by the striving towards generalization on the one hand, and on the other by the desire to describe the single, special element. Thus generalization gives rest to the soul, whereas specialization permits it to move from example to example; and the same is true in the world of feeling. On the one hand we seek peaceful surrender to men and things, on the other an energetic activity with respect to both."

"Movement, time, rhythm of the gestures, are all undoubtedly influenced largely by what is worn: similarly dressed persons exhibit relative similarity in their actions. This is of especial value in modern life with its individualistic diffusion, while in the case of primitive races the effect produced is directed within and is therefore not dependent upon changes of fashion. Among primitive races fashions will be less numerous and more stable because the need of new impressions and forms of life, quite apart from their social effect, is far less pressing."

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