is the praise

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NewHope

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Praise = ?


In "their imaginary dignity", "their" refers to the 'artists who possess natural talent"?
Also, in "bestow sometimes upon others", the "others" refers to 'artists who possess natural talent"?

context:

It is to avoid this plain confession of truth, as it should seem, that this imitation of masters-indeed, almost all imitation which implies a more regular and progressive method of attaining the ends of painting-has ever been particularly inveighed against with great keenness, both by ancient and modern writers.
To derive all from native power, to owe nothing to another, is the praise which men, who do not much think what they are saying, bestow sometimes upon others, and sometimes on themselves; and their imaginary dignity is naturally heightened by a supercilious censure of the low, the barren, the grovelling, the servile imitator.

http://www.authorama.com/seven-discourses-on-art-8.html
 

Mister Micawber

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(1) 'their' refers to 'men'
(2) 'others' refers to other 'men'

'men, who do not much think what they are saying, bestow [praise] sometimes upon others, and sometimes on themselves; and their imaginary dignity is naturally heightened by a supercilious censure of the low, the barren, the grovelling, the servile' -- this whole section refers to the nature of men in general, and is only secondarily applied to the imitative vs. original artists in the first paragraph, NH.

(3) 'praise' means expressed admiration or commendation-- in this case upon those who are original artists instead of imitators.
 

NewHope

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Thanks MM.

But I failed to get exactly what "To derive all from native power, to owe nothing to another, is the praise " meant.

The praise is "to derive all from native power"? ??
or

"To derive all from native power"is the praise???

"To owe nothing to another is the praise"??

Could someone rewrite this for me, so that I can understand it?
 

Casiopea

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NewHope said:
Could someone rewrite this for me, so that I can understand it?

I rewrote it, so no complaints. You asked. :D

To be able to derive skill from natural ability (i.e., a God-given talent), and to be able to owe nothing to another (i.e., to be a true creator, an innovator, a true maverick), is the kind of nonsense artists tend to use to praise others with sometimes, and themselves with sometimes; and the ego gets an ever higher boost the instant said 'God-given talent' is criticized by a lower class of artist, one whose talent neither generates thought nor profit, the kind of artist who grovels for commissions and praise, the kind of artist who imitates art, the kind of artist who is not a true artist.
 

NewHope

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Hi Casiopea,

Thanks for the rewriting.

Derive = obtain?
 

NewHope

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In "the ego gets an ever higher boost the instant said 'God-given talent' is criticized by a lower class of artist"

The subject is the sentence "the ego gets an ever higher boost the instant said 'God-given talent'"?
 

Casiopea

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The orange portion is an independent clause. The subject is 'The ego', and the verb is 'gets'.

The ego getsan ever higher boost the instant said 'God-given talent' iscriticized by a lower class of artist.

The underlined portion functions as an adverb. It answers the question, "When?".

The instant said 'God-given talent' is criticized by a lower class of artist, the ego gets an even higher boost.

The grammatical subject is 'said God-given talent' ('said' functions as an adjective), the verb 'is criticized' is passive, and the semantic subject is 'a lower class of artist'.
 

NewHope

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Hi all,

Combining MM and Casiopea's replies, I got this idea:

1) Imaginary dignity = unsubstantial dignity = unreal dignity = the dignity that only exists in the men's imagination, not in reality.

2) “To derive all from native power, to owe nothing to another” , the quotation is a weapon used by the men to arm themselves. In fact, the weapon is "the kind of nonsense".

Because armed by the weapon, the men felt that they were better than those who used to censure the quotation.


But actually both the men and "the low, the barren, the servile imitator" are all as common as dirty. They are not gifted talents at all.

Am I on the right track?
 
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