Starting with James Joyce’s discussion of aesthetic pleasure as a distinct type of pleasure associated with an attitude he names “luminous silent stasis” (a phrase that picks up on and transforms Thomas Aquinas’s approaches to beauty), the chapter discusses various ways in which Greek thought represented, evaluated, and visualized modes of aesthetic experience akin to restful contemplation and tranquility. Xenophon, Plato, Greek vase paintings, and, finally, Homer exemplify diverse instantiations of aesthetic tranquility, some of which may in fact straddle the border between external motionlessness and internal agitation.
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