Walter Pater on creative types catching “light and heat from each other’s thoughts”

The various forms of intellectual activity which together make up the culture of an age, move for the most part from different starting points, and by unconnected roads. […] There come, however, from time to time, eras of more favourable conditions, in which the thoughts of men draw nearer together than is their wont, and the many interest of the intellectual world combine in one complete type of general culture. […] Here, artists and philosophers and those whom the action of the world has elevated and made keen, do not live in isolation, but breathe a common air, and catch light and heat from each other’s thoughts.

— from the Preface to The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry

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