I heard this quote during a lecture and wrote it down word for word. But who said it? The entire quote: "First art will imitate life, then life will imitate art, then life will find its very meaning from the arts." I would love to use this quote in a paper I'm writing, but I don't know who said it. Help!
Ouch. In the past I've come to the conclusion this is something that Ravi Zacharias got started. I've been unable to find a source for Dostoevsky ever writing anything like this. I was able to find this:
quote:Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life . . . Life holds the mirror up to Art, and either reproduces some strange type imagined by a painter or sculptor, or realises in fact what has been dreamed in fiction. . . . For what is Nature? Nature is no great mother who has borne us. She is our creation. It is in our brain that she quickens to life. Things are because we see them, and what we see, and how we see it, depends on the Arts that have influenced us. . . . At present, people see fogs, not because there are fogs, but because poets and painters have taught them the mysterious loveliness of such effects. There may have been fogs for centuries in London. I dare say there were. But no one saw them, and so we do not know anything about them. They did not exist till Art had invented them. Now, it must be admitted, fogs are carried to excess. They have become the mere mannerism of a clique, and the exaggerated realism of their method gives dull people bronchitis. Where the cultured catch an effect, the uncultured catch cold. ~Oscar Wilde, 'The Decay of Lying: An Observation', 1889 http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/SESLL/EngLit/ugrad/hons/theory/Real&Rep.htm
Here's where Zacharias got it started:
quote:"Fyodor Dostoevsky predicted that at first art would imitate life, then life would imitate art, and finally, that life would draw the very reason for its existence from art." ~ Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1994) p. 73
I can only offer my opinion, but knowing what I know, I personally would not attribute this to Dostoevsky because it would only further an apparent mistaken attribution. In my humble opinion, I would use the Oscar Wilde quote because I think he is the source of this idea.
The idea, of course, goes back pretty far - if not these specific words. Aristotle said similar things, as did Plotinus:
"If somebody does not esteem the arts because they imitate nature, it should be said first that nature herself imitates. Then it should be borne in mind that the arts do not simply copy the visible things but draw from the principles that constitute the source of nature."